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64 Russian soldiers killed, 283 wounded in last year's Georgia war


MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 64 Russian soldiers were killed and 283 wounded in the war with Georgia in 2008, a deputy Russian defense minister said Saturday.

General of the Army Nikolai Pankov told Ekho Moskvy radio that three people are still missing. He said the losses counted refer to the August 8-24, 2008 period.

The General Staff reported in August that 323 servicemen had been wounded in South Ossetia.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states two weeks after the end of a five-day war with Georgia last August, which began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a bid to bring it back under central control.

Nicaragua has so far been the only other country to recognize the republics.

Shootings and abductions have been reported along the de facto border between Georgia and South Ossetia since after the armed conflict, with both sides blaming each other for continuing violence.

Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia split from Georgia amid bloody post-Soviet conflicts. The majority of residents of both republics have had Russian citizenship for many years.

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