(AP) Russian Defense Ministry denies troop withdrawal


MOSCOW - A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman is denying that troops are withdrawing from South Ossetia, contradicting a general who says some Russian troops are leaving.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give his name, the spokesman says a withdrawal is "being considered" but had not yet started in the separatist-held region in Georgia.

Russian army Maj. Gen. Vyachislav Borisov told The Associated Press earlier Sunday some Russian troops were withdrawing.

South Ossetian Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev, speaking by phone from the region's capital Tskhinvali, also denies any withdrawal was under way, saying "the Russian troops are still standing."

Hundreds of Russian tanks and thousands of soldiers poured into South Ossetia from Russia last week to repel a Georgian offensive, leading to full-scale combat.