State Security Service: Russian troops tried to use Georgian occupied territories for clandestine, illegal operations

  • The Georgian State Security Service says that the intelligence agencies of foreign states are trying to change public view in Georgia regarding the country’s foreign course.Photo: State Security Service press office., 28 Mar 2019 - 12:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian State Security Service writes in its 2018 report that Russian forces tried to use the two occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) to conduct clandestine, illegal operations.

The operations and activities were of a destructive nature, aimed at staging provocations and stirring conflicts,” SSS wrote in the report it presented to parliament.

The agency said that the intelligence services of foreign countries were also trying to change the public view in Georgia regarding the country’s foreign course.

With the use of political and public groups, [foreign forces] tried to decrease trust between the government, civil sector and political actors in Georgia. This aimed to generate a negative attitude amongst the public concerning the country’s Euro-Atlantic course,” reads the report.

The report says that the occupation and deployment of Russian troops on Georgian territory remain a major threat to Georgia.

The increased militarisation of the Georgian occupied territories, discrimination against the ethnic Georgian population, the restriction of free movement for locals and the informal annexation process in the Georgian regions by Russia are the key challenges for the Georgian state,” the report says.

The agency registered 100 illegal detentions at the occupation line between Georgia and Tskhinvali in 2018 and 28 such cases at the occupation line with Abkhazia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

The agency says that the “tendency was clearly revealed” in 2018 that the occupying forces use the situation in the occupied territories, as well as illegal detentions of Georgians, to influence the public view in Georgia.

The agency states that 45 per cent of the budget of occupied Abkhazia is money received from Russia [64 million USD], while the figure for Tskhinvali is 86 per cent [113 million USD].

The activities of Russian troops and special services in the Georgian occupied regions create security threats to not only Georgia and the region, but also for safety of Europe,” the report reads. 

The agency says that due to its activities in 2018, the influence of the Islamic State terrorist group on Georgia has decreased.

The agency revealed up to 1,200 individuals last year who tried to gain residency permits with the use of fake documents.

SSS did not let 139 individuals enter Georgia in 2018 based on operative information.

SSS said that two cases are being investigated for the illegal possession of radioactive substances.

The agency claims that in terms of chemical, biologic, radiation and nuclear security Georgia has become the regional leader.