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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia Exercise Begins

TBILISI, Georgia () -- Georgia's armed forces have started two-day military exercises near the border of the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Some 3,000 men, along with aircraft and naval ships took part in the maneuvers Monday near the town of Senaki, in western Georgia, said Defense Ministry spokesman Koba Liklikadze.

The exercises were of an unprecedented scale for the small Georgian military. The only previous maneuvers featured only 100 men.

Georgia's army suffered a stinging defeat in 1993 against the separatists in Abkhazia, a lush Black Sea province which broke away from Georgia after 13 months of fierce fighting.

Georgia since has offered Abkhazia broad autonomy on condition it remain part of Georgia, but the separatists have demanded full independence.