Tbilisi has rejected out of hand a Russian ultimatum to surrender in Abkhazia. The head of the Russian forces there had said earlier that if the ultimatum was not respected, all necessary measures would be implemented.
Nine thousand more Russian troops are being sent to Abkhazia to re-inforce Moscow’s operation. They will be supported by 350 armoured cars and other equipment, as Russia tightens its control of the region. Military sources said the extra troops were to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe such as the one unfolding in South Ossetia.
Georgia insisted though that no soldier would lay down his weapon in Abkhazia. Moscow also denied its warships patrolling off Georgia’s Black Sea coast are there to prevent reinforcements reaching Georgian positions.