The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Russia has sent approximately 150 soldiers from the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia to the Crimea to fight on behalf of the Russian military.
"About 150 people were transferred from South Ossetia to the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea for further actions in the neighboring regions of Ukraine,” the General Staff wrote on Facebook. “Also, measures were taken to covertly mobilize the population of the so-called South Ossetia in order to further involve them in the war with Ukraine.”
On Saturday, the breakaway region’s leader, Anatoly Bibilov, stated, "our guys are going to fulfil their military duty with a proudly raised banner… They understand perfectly that they are going to defend Russia, they are going to defend Ossetia too.”
Russia invaded Georgia briefly in 2008 to support separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. After the war, Russia recognized the two breakaway regions as independent states.
Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, and Syria are the only states that have formally recognized South Ossetia.