Russia Seizes Georgian Port, Detains Soldiers

By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 19, 2008 9:09 AM CDT
Russian soldiers take position at the Black Sea port city of Poti, western Georgia, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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(Newser) – Russian troops took control of the key Georgian port of Poti for about 4 hours today, just one day after it pledged to withdraw from the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some 70 Russian troops entered the Black Sea port this morning and detained 20 Georgian coast guard members before returning to their base in the town of Senaki. The Georgian soldiers were taken away on top of APCs, handcuffed and blindfolded. The port, a keystone of the area’s economy, has been forced to shut down, at least temporarily.

Russia also blew up a Georgian coast guard motor launch at the port, which also serves Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Central Asia, and seized six vehicles belonging to US forces. "I suppose the US won't be impressed by losing their equipment," said the port's CEO.