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Georgia president shifts hardline defence minister

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Georgia president shifts hardline defence minister

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Georgia’s hardline defence minister has been moved to another post. Irakli Okruashvili, who is known for his outspoken attacks on Russia, will now become the minister of the economy. The move is being seen by some as an attempt by Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili to appease the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, which will hold a referendum on independence on Sunday.

Sporadic skirmishes between South Ossetian forces and Georgia’s army still continue. In September, South Ossetia shot at a helicopter carrying Okruashvili, forcing it to make an emergency landing.