IGOETI, Georgia – Russian forces appeared to begin fulfilling a promise Friday to pull back from positions deep inside Georgia.
No Russian forces could be seen Friday afternoon in and around Igoeti, which had been their closest position to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. A Russian armored column also was seen moving away from a base in western Georgia and a Georgian official said that forces were leaving the key central city of Gori.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other officials have said Russian forces would pull back to Moscow-backed separatist regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as surrounding security zones, by day’s end Friday.
Russian troops appeared to be continuing to dig in near the port city of Poti.