The Russian government, under the direction of Vladimir Putin, has drawn up orders to bring separatist forces inside the country of Georgia under the control of the Russian military.

The separatist forces in question reside in the region of South Ossetia, a long-contested area on Georgia’s northern border with Russia, and one of the sites where fighting occurred in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.

In a statement, Georgian government officials said: “Any agreement between the Russian Federation and de-facto leadership (of South Ossetia) is illegitimate,” and “Such steps are not aimed at protecting peace and are impeding peaceful process, which is necessary for the conflict resolution.”

The Russian agreement brings the armed separatists inside South Ossetia under the control and auspices of the greater Russian army. Soldiers in these groups can also opt to become full-fledged members of the Russian military by choosing to serve at the Russian military base in the region.