A gathering of Cossacks was held in Abkhazia where a decision was taken to keep Valery Vasilchenko on the post of special Ataman of the Kuban Cossack troops in Abkhazia. More than seven years he has been the head of the Sukhumi department of the Kuban Cossack army.
Vasilchenko sees Cossacks’s mission in the light of Russia's imperial interests. "Georgia has not yet signed a peace treaty, and we live, we can say, on a volcano – this means that another South Ossetia may happen at any time, - he said stressing that the Cossacks were protecting peace in Abkhazia. As to a question who would protect peace from Cossacks it remains open.
According to Vasilchenko there are about a thousand Cossacks in Abkhazia that took part in various military operations. Many have combat awards. It is known that they had participated in all the fighting in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region. Meanwhile, Tagliavini-led international commission "for some reason" did not want to equate them to the regular parts of Russia, though, they perform the same functions and are controlled from the same centre.