Country Listing

Georgia Table of Contents


The Russian Presence

The Soviet Union had maintained a substantial military presence in Georgia because the republic bordered Turkey, a NATO member. The Transcaucasus Military District, which had coordinated Soviet military forces in the three republics of Transcaucasia, was headquartered in Tbilisi. In mid-1993 an estimated 15,000 Russian troops and border guards remained on Georgian territory. Georgia did not press Russian withdrawal as vigorously as did other former republics of the Soviet Union because it did not have enough personnel to patrol its entire border. At the same time, the continued presence of Russian troops energized the Georgian nationalist parties. In the fall of 1993, those groups saw Shevardnadze's call for Russian military assistance, and the significant increase of Russia forces that resulted, as an admission that his national security policy had failed and a sign that the traditional enemy to the north was again threatening.

Data as of March 1994