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Georgia’s ex-president thanks Kiev for support in 2008 South Ossetia conflict

August 08, 18:40 UTC+3 KIEV
Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakachvili says Ukraine saved the country
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Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili

Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili

© EPA/ANDRZEJ GRYGIEL

KIEV, August 8 /TASS/. Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili thanked Kiev for military support during the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia.

"I want to thank Ukraine because they saved us," Saakashvili, who is now the governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, proclaimed at a news conference on Monday. "We trained our military experts in Ukraine. Kiev provided us with its anti-aircraft systems, which was crucial for us in the first days of the conflict," Saakashvili said.

"The Georgian state would have never weathered the storm without Ukraine’s aid," he added.

The Odessa governor said that Ukraine had supplied Georgia with Buk and Osa systems as well as combat ammunition for them.

Georgia launched an invasion of South Ossetia early on August 8, 2008. Moscow stepped in to defend South Ossetian civilians and its own peacekeepers, who had kept the peace in the region since 1992. Over a thousand people, including 72 Russian servicemen, lost their lives in the five-day war.

Russia ultimately recognized South Ossetia’s independence on August 26, 2008.

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