Russian troops celebrated five years of “peacekeeping” in Abkhazia, a breakaway province in northwest Georgia. The Russian commander held a festive rally in Sukhumi, the Abkhaz capital, with Abkhaz leaders. The Russian forces in Georgia had their original mandate from the Commonwealth of Independent States, but that mandate expired in early 1998. Georgia complains that the Russians are turning the line between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia into a de facto international border. The Georgian government in Tbilisi has not sought to expel the Russians, which it is powerless to do, but does seek their replacement by an international force under authority of the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.