Russia establishes naval base in occupied Abkhazia

January 3,2024 790
Russia establishes naval base in occupied Abkhazia

Russia has begun construction on a military naval base in Abkhazia – the temporarily occupied territory of Georgia. Construction and ship deployment began in the Ochamchire district as part of infrastructure development, as reported by the SOVA project.

Occupiers are conducting dredging work in the port. As of December 26, approximately fifty vessels were reported to be present, confirmed by satellite images analyzed by BBC Newsnight program analysts and the BBC Verify. The exact number and type of ships are currently unknown.

Currently, the port operates as a base for the Russian FSB Border Service patrol boats. Among other responsibilities, this structure guards the so-called borders of the self-proclaimed Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Russians aim to transform Ochamchire into a secure harbor for the ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, according to Ukrainian intelligence. Previously, vessels were based in the occupied Crimea. However, attacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine forced the Russian fleet to flee the Ukrainian peninsula.

The first reports about Russia’s plans to create a Black Sea Fleet base in Abkhazia emerged in October. Aslan Bzhania, the so-called “leader” of the region, announced the intentions a day after meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

The UK Defence Intelligence also stated that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will not be able to have the same control over the Black Sea as before, and its ships will feel less safe in ports after a series of successful attacks by Ukraine.

Russia launched armed aggression against Georgia in August 2008. In conclusion, the Kremlin occupied one-fifth of the territory of Georgia and declared the “independence” of two entities – South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Most of the countries of the world recognize these self-proclaimed states as part of Georgia.

Screenshot: Google Maps.

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