Russia expands in Georgia

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MOSCOW - Russia said yesterday that it had deployed a large contingent of marines in Zugdidi, acknowledging an expansion of its original mission in western Georgia, but saying it was needed to help government troops retain control there, AFP reports.

Zugdidi, formerly the stronghold of rebel forces loyal to the ousted president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was recaptured after heavy fighting by Georgian government troops on Saturday.