Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Russian Military Base in South Ossetia Assuming Ever Greater Importance for Moscow

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 5 – Since the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, Moscow’s military base in South Ossetia has attracted relatively little attention except in 2022 when some of its 4,000 men refused to obey orders to go to fight in Ukraine (

            But now, Russian experts say, turmoil in Georgia, the withdrawal of Russian forces from Qarabakh, and questions about the future of the Russian base at Gyumri within Armenia have increased the importance of the base there not only to defend Russia but to project Russian influence across the South Caucasus (

            Whether such judgments will prompt Moscow to increase the number of soldiers or the amount of arms in South Ossetia or at the very least cut back or even stop demands that troops and weapons now based there be sent to Ukraine remains to be seen, but these possibilities make the Tsinkval base a bellwether of Russian intentions in the region and more broadly. 

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