Michael Ware


NR: "Russian forces are making significant moves out of undisputed Georgian territory."

Length: 2:13

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Michael confirms that the Russian forces are moving out of the greater Georgian areas but as expected, only into the so-called breakaway territories, and they intend to maintain a "buffer zone" as well.

HEIDI COLLINS: Russian forces on the move in neighboring Georgia. They are apparently keeping a promise to start pulling out.

Want to go live now to CNN's Michael Ware in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

So, Michael, how is all of this looking to you, where you stand?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, to quote Georgia's national security adviser, Heidi, we are seeing the pullout of Russian troops.

Now, obviously it's still a complicated picture and there's some conflicting reports of checkpoints remaining, checkpoints being removed. Still some signs of digging in in places. Signs of Russian troops simply donning peacekeepers uniforms so-called, rather than actually shifting.

However, the general trend is indeed that Russian forces are making significant moves out of undisputed Georgian territory. Now, obviously as stated and as they were before the conflict that began on August 7th, the Russians have made it eminently clear that they will remain in the largely pro-Russian enclaves on Russia's border of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

What remains in question is, how much control will those Russian forces -- be it as peacekeepers or else -- will continue to have over the core of Georgia's infrastructure, such as the highway that it's cut, or the all-important seaport on the Black Sea coast that ships oil to Europe and beyond?

And it's also a great question is, what will be their range of movement? Now, whilst there has been an agreement to pull back to these pro-Russian enclaves, the Russian forces are insisting that they will maintain security or buffer zones to maintain their protection. Now, it's anyone's guess just how broad and far-reaching those buffer zones will have to be. They're going to be to at least seven kilometers inside Georgia.

So there's going to be a question of what the troops there are going to be able to do. But the headline certainly is that we are seeing the first signs of a Russian withdrawal from some of the major conflict zones -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. CNN's Michael Ware, giving us the picture there in the Georgia area. We sure do appreciate that.

Michael, thank you.