How big a military does South Ossetia need? RFE/RL's Caucasus Report blog flags an interview with the territory/country's new defense minister, Colonel Valery Yakhnovets (the fifth consecutive Russian army officer to hold that post, incidentally) in a Russian newspaper:
Since the spring of this year, some 1,000 South Ossetian military personnel have been demobilized in line with what Yakhnovets termed a "political decision" on the part of de facto President Eduard Kokoity. Echoing concerns voiced by observers in Tskhinvali, Yakhnovets said further downsizing could lead to "social tensions."
In an apparent bid to mollify servicemen forced into early retirement, the South Ossetian authorities recently announced a program to provide them with loans to open their own businesses....
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