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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Saakashvili Takes Aim at Underwear

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili demanded that Russia pull its troops out of a military base in Georgia, saying the sight of Russian soldiers drying their underwear was ruining its reputation.

Russia's two military bases in Georgia are a major irritant in relations between the two countries.

Tbilisi wants Moscow to withdraw, seeing the bases as an unwelcome reminder of Soviet rule, while Moscow insists that it needs a decade or so to pull out.

"They are drying their underwear, and the remains of a once-great army are lying around on their armored vehicles. I do not think this is good for Russia," Saakashvili said on Georgian television late last week.

"I must ask that the Russian troops leave the Gonio firing range by spring, or we will make them leave," Saakashvili said.

The firing range near the Black Sea port of Batumi is located on low-lying land along the coast and flies its white, blue and red Russian tricolor prominently.