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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 22
New Russian surveillance position spotted at Koda as South Ossetia prepares to redraw the de facto border

Locals have discovered a new surveillance post near Koda, a village along the perimeter of South Ossetia, where Georgia and Russia fought a war ten years ago.

The observation post near the village of Koda, which likely includes a telescope that can track movements in nearby villages, is further proof for locals of how the Russian soldiers are digging in and reinforcing the de facto border.

News about the new Russian surveillance position was posted on Facebook by a civic activist affiliated with the group ‘Strength is in Unity’, which works to end the Russian occupation.

This group was formed in June 2017 by volunteers that patrol the conflict line and raise awareness about the situation there.

Russian border guards who are protecting the boundaries of South Ossetia and the other breakaway republic, Abkhazia, have installed a telescope in a reinforced position near the conflict line to monitor the movements of the anti-occupation group and ordinary people, journalist and group member Lasha Berulava wrote on Facebook.

The Russian military frequently passes through the territory controlled by the Georgian government, arrests locals and brings them to the breakaway capital Tskhinvali, where they are not released until they pay a 2,000 rubles (USD 30) fine.

Tskhinvali stated in June that it was establishing a special commission charged with revising the ‘border demarcation with Georgia.’ In particular, Tskhinvali is discontent with that after the installation of barbed wire fences, lands rich in mineral deposits fell inside Georgian controlled territory. These lands legitimately should have been included in South Ossetia, the breakaway authorities claim, and plan to ‘correct the mistake,’ which means that a 150 meter long strip of road connecting two Georgian villages in the Kareli district, Koda and Abano, will be cut off, leaving the latter as an isolated enclave. Another part of the plan involves seizing a small area of land that contains an open-cast dolomite mine.

After the plan was presented, Russian border guards have stepped up their presence in the area. (DF Watch)

Bonuses issued by Ministry of Corrections in 2017 amounted to GEL 6 109 030.

Bonuses issued by the Ministry of Corrections in 2017 amounted to GEL 6 109 030. The State Audit Office published the financial audit report of the Ministry of Corrections.

According to the report, the highest amount of bonus was GEL 6 250. In a few cases, such bonuses were issued for the directors of the establishment each month. Bonuses twice as much as wages were issued by the agency 175 times.

"The issue of the bonuses was justified by the Ministry of Corrections by overtime work or fulfillment of an exceptionally responsible job by the employees. It should be noted that the Ministry has not violated the law, however, the high amount of bonuses is obvious and the issues of bouses each month looks more like a monthly wage", - reads the audit report.

The Audit Office addressed the Ministry of Corrections with a recommendation regarding the abovementioned, though the latter only partially implemented the recommendation. (IPN)