Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

Russian troops 'push' into Georgia

Latest update : 2008-08-12

As Russian troops appeared to be advancing deeper into Georgian territory, indicating an escalation of the conflict over South Ossetia, US President George Bush condemned the offensive, calling on Russia to reverse its course in Georgia.

Watch our Top Story and Face-Off programmes on the escalating conflict between Russia and Georgia.

 

Russia rejects UN truce draft

 

US warns Russia over South Ossetia

 

 

 

 

As Russian troops appeared to be moving deeper into Georgian territory, US President George Bush issued a strongly worded statement late Monday, calling on Russia to reverse its course in Georgia.

 

 

In a televised speech, Bush accused Russia of invading a sovereign neighbouring nation and threatening a democratically elected government. “Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century,” he added.

 

Bush’ comments came as the conflict over South Ossetia showed signs of spreading with Russian troops apparently advancing on two fronts from the Russian-backed breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia into Georgian territory.

 

In what he called the first independent confirmation of Russian forces moving into areas outside the breakaway province of South Ossetia, UN assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping Edmond Mulet said Russian troops occupied a military base in the western Georgian city of Senaki.

 

Hours later, a Russian Defence Ministry statement said Russian troops had pulled out of Senaki after “eliminating” a Georgian threat to shell South Ossetia.

 

The push into Senaki from Abkhazia, a breakaway province located in western Georgia, appeared to open a second front in Russia’s offensive against Georgia.

 

In a televised address to the nation earlier Monday, Saakashvili said Russian forces had seized control of “the majority of Georgian territory”.

 

But there were conflicting reports on Russian advances into Georgian territory. Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said Russian troops had entered the Black Sea port city of Poti. But the Russian Defence Ministry quickly denied the claim. "They (troops) had never been given such a task," the Russian Interfax news agency quoted a Defence Ministry official as saying.

 

Georgia had earlier accused Russia of capturing the strategic Georgian city of Gori, a claim Russian defence officials quickly denied.

 

There were scenes of mass panic as desperate residents of Gori attempted to flee the city, which is the largest city near the separatist province of South Ossetia.

 

Reporting from the road between Gori and the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, FRANCE 24’s Tim Grucza said the route was packed with fleeing civilians as well as Georgian troops.

 

“Soldiers are desperately trying to get out,” said Grucza. “They’re even hitchhiking at the back of civilian vehicles. People are opening their boots to set soldiers sit in their car boots with their legs hanging out of the backs of cars.”

 

Georgian officials also said Russian troops had entered the western city of Zugdidi, a report that was confirmed by a Norwegian reporter at the scene, according to the AFP news service.

 

Georgia signs EU-backed ceasefire plan

 

The Russian advance came even as Georgia signed an EU-backed ceasefire deal earlier Monday following a meeting between Saakashvili and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Tbilisi.

 

Kouchner was on a visit to Georgia, where he is heading an EU delegation pushing for a solution to the current crisis in the Caucusus. France currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

 

Speaking to reporters shortly after his meeting with Kouchner, Saakashvili said he agreed with the EU backed plan calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities and posting a mixed peacekeeping force including Russian, Georgian and international troops.

 

Kouchner is set to visit Moscow Tuesday, where he will be joined by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an attempt to get Moscow on board with the ceasefire plan.

 

But even as a diplomatic shuffle gets underway in the region, there were early signs that Russia had rejected the ceasefire proposal.

 

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow would never be a "passive observer" in the Caucasus region in a televised statement Monday. But he later suggested sending a mission from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to South Ossetia.

 

Reporting from Moscow, FRANCE 24’s Romain Goguelin said experts believe that Russia is reinforcing its positions before starting any negotiations. But, he added, that Moscow in the long term, was probably looking to establish “the status quo that existed before the start of the conflict with two separatist areas unofficially controlled by Russia.”

 

Tensions between Russia and Georgia grew out of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 with the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia declaring their intentions to separate from Georgia, claims Tbilisi rejects.

 

 

Date created : 2008-08-11

COMMENT(S)