Georgian officials have repeated their charges that Russia illegally removed Soviet military equipment from Georgia following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, and they continue to insist that Tbilisi is entitled either to receive some of this equipment back or to be compensated for it. On July 11 Revaz Adamia, the Chairman of the Georgian parliament’s security and defense committee, pointed out that the equipment included military aircraft as well as Black Sea Fleet ships once based in Georgia. He said that the planes, ships, and other equipment taken by the Russians had been worth nearly $4 billion.
The Soviet forces had several major air bases in Georgia. According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, those bases held 240 combat aircraft in 1992, including 60 Su-24 strike aircraft, as well as four fighter and one reconnaissance regiment. Although the Russians turned the bases over to Georgia, Moscow took all the planes, leaving Georgia with just two Su-25 ground attack aircraft under construction at a factory in Tbilisi.
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