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One of the main issues on the agenda at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia held on 16 May 2013 was to review the proposed amendments to the Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia.

Nugzar Tsiklauri, MP from the United National Movement, expressed his opinion about the proposed amendments to the Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia. The MP made the following statement: “Sergey Shoygu, Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, visited Abkhazia several days ago and went to the Russian military base where they discussed possibilities for bringing additional military equipment from Russia. He also visited the Russian military sanatorium where they discussed the issues of holidays for those Russian soldiers who shed Georgian blood.”

FactCheck

wondered about the truth behind the facts mentioned in the statement made by Nugzar Tsiklauri and decided to check.

According to the official information of the Press Office of the Russian Defence Ministry, Sergey Shoygu, Minister of Defence, definitely visited the 7th

Russian military base in Gudauta on 14 May. The Minister “paid special attention to the living conditions of the servicemen at the military base and a parking lot which is currently under construction designed for deployment of existing and coming into service new military hardware.”

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and the video footage of the Press Office depicting the visit of the Minister, the completion of the construction is scheduled for the end of the year. The video footage also depicts how the Minister is being informed about the plans of the military leadership. It is noteworthy that Russia has conducted several military exercises on its own military bases located on the territory of Abkhazia and brought various new military hardware. More than 400 soldiers and 50 units of military hardware participated in tactical exercises held in April 2013. Special tactical exercises were also conducted on the Russian military base on the territory of Abkhazia in March. Large-scale military exercises held in the Black Sea area caused deep concern for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

According to the official information provided by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, as of 2012, subdivisions conducted more than 2,000 fire training courses during the academic year. Based on the information of the Ministry, as compared to the previous year, the intensity of military trainings conducted on the military base increased by an average of 20%.

As for the military hardware, according to the information provided in April by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, they anticipated computer simulators for riflemen on the military base and recently new firefighting equipment was introduced there as well. In 2012, the Russian military base in Abkhazia was equipped with new-generation communications technology; namely, portable satellite communication stations. In the same year, new medical technology and hiking graphics equipped with satellite were introduced to the military base.

Conclusion Official information provided by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation confirms that the statement made by MP Nugzar Tsiklauri: “ Sergey Shoygu, Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, visited the Russian military base in Abkhazia several days ago where they discussed the possibility for bringing additional Russian military hardware from Russia” is TRUE.