Authorities in breakaway Abkhazia said their forces were in full control of upper Kodori Gorge. Officials in Tbilisi have confirmed it.
CNN aired brief footage showing an Abkhaz militia taking down the Georgia’s national flag from the administrative building in the gorge.
However, there are conflicting reports about how the process took place. The Abkhaz side has claimed that its troops took over the area after fighting with the Georgian forces throughout the day, on August 12.
Shota Utiashvili, the Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman, told Civil.Ge that the Georgian forces were withdrawn from the gorge night of 11th.
Meanwhile, President Saakashvili told a group of foreign journalists on August 12: “Within a well-prepared plan, several hundred pieces of the Russian [military] equipment, Russian airborne troops, commanded by the airborne troops of Russia landed there [in the Kodori Gorge] and expelled and certainly killed part of the population. Whole population from that place is gone. This is classical case of ethnic cleansing.”
Upper Kodori gorge was the only part of breakaway Abkhazia under Tbilisi’s control.