Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Stoltenberg: Plans for Russian base on Georgian territory unacceptable

by Nate Ostiller November 14, 2023 3:17 PM 3 min read
An abandoned cargo vessel lies beached along the Black Sea near the city of Ochamchire in Abkhazia, Georgia in an undated photo. (Tyson Paul/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Russia's plans to create a naval base in Abkhazia, a Russian-occupied territory of Georgia, in comments before the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Nov. 14, as cited by the Georgian media outlet Civil.Ge.

"We strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, and of course, we don't accept that these breakaway territories can be used by Russia to establish military bases," Stoltenberg said.

Moreover, he noted that the plan reveals "how far Russia is willing to go to achieve (its) military goals in Ukraine."

Russian state-controlled media Izvestia reported on Oct. 5 that Aslan Bzhania, the Russia-backed proxy leader in Abkhazia, said the region would soon host a "permanent" deployment of Russian forces in the Black Sea port of Ochamchire.

Russian authorities did not comment on the plans.

Bzhania's announcement raised concerns in Georgia, with Georgia's Foreign Ministry denouncing the plans as a violation of Georgia's territorial integrity.

There have been Russian troops and Russian proxy soldiers on the ground in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another occupied region of Georgia, since their seizure in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.

Russian "peacekeepers" were also present in both regions before the 2008 war, a holdover from conflicts in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the early 1990s.

Both regions became de facto independent but legally part of Georgia, a status that continued until the 2008 war, after which Russia occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia and established military bases there.

The creation of a naval base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Abkhazia would be a significant step, however, and one that could threaten to drag Georgia directly into Russia's war against Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Oct. 24 that Russia's plans to create a base in Abkhazia were part of an effort to move its ships "as far as possible from Ukrainian missiles and marine drones," but he added that "we will catch up with them everywhere."

The comments were reported by some Georgian media outlets as a tacit admission that Ukraine would strike Russian targets in Abkhazia, a de jure part of Georgia.

Although the port is not deep enough to host larger warships from Russia's navy in the Black Sea, it could nonetheless become an important logistical hub.

"This is an attempt by the Russian Federation to expand the frontline to Georgia," said Badri Japaradize, one of the leaders of Georgia's opposition party, Lelo.

If the ships are used in attacks on Ukraine, then they would be legitimate targets, even if they are located in what is de jure Georgian territory, Japaridze added.

Mixed reaction from Georgian government after Russian forces kill Georgian citizen near occupied South Ossetia
Officials from the Georgian government issued mixed reactions in response to the Nov. 6 Russian attack on civilians near the occupied territory of South Ossetia that left one man dead and another kidnapped, Georgian media reported on Nov. 7.

Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

5:57 PM

Gas pipeline on fire in Russia's Saratov Oblast.

"According to the preliminary information, the cause was an unusual heat, which led to depressurization and combustion," Saratov Oblast Governor Roman Busargin claimed on his Telegram channel.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
3:37 PM

Zelensky: All parts of the world represented at peace summit.

"All parts of the world, all continents, different nations, both large and small geographically, and every political pole of our world—Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, Africa, Europe, the Pacific, Australia, North America—are all represented at the summit," President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
12:54 AM

Germany blocks sanctions on Russian gas.

European Union countries failed to approve a new sanctions package targeting the Russian gas industry after German authorities intervened to block the deal at the last minute.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.