While Tbilisi relies on unobtrusive European monitors for its border security, Russia has opted for some tried-and-true Cossacks.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB)'s Border Patrol Service will use the renegade paramilitaries, who first manned Russia's southern borders in the 18th century, to help police its recently reopened Upper Lars border checkpoint with Georgia and newly recognized border with South Ossetia. The Cossacks, working in 12-hour shifts of 20 men per border post, will receive a 500-ruble (around $16) per diem for their work.
Not much, but then maybe the Kremlin hopes that Cossack pride about being back on the job, defending Russia's borders, will make up for the pay.
Describing his Cossack border guard plan in 2005, Putin commented that "the fight [of Cossacks] against crime and terrorism can be very efficient."
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