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Russia says Georgian special services 'seize' Russian soldier

RIA Novosti

27/01/2009 18:16 MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian NCO has been captured by Georgian special service personnel in South Ossetia, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said Jr. Sgt. Alexander Glukhov had been taken to Tbilisi.

The Georgian Interior Ministry said Glukhov had left his unit over the weekend, surrendered to Georgian police and requested political asylum.

Drobyshevsky dismissed the Georgian claim as a provocation and said Russia urged Georgia to release Glukhov immediately.

"Whatever statements Glukhov might have made must have been given either under physical or moral duress," he said.

The Georgian Interior Ministry has said the Russian serviceman is to undergo "a course of psychological and medical rehabilitation," whereupon the question of granting him political asylum "will be considered without fail."

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