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Latest update : 2008-08-12

Amid rumours of a Russian ground attack on the Georgian city of Gori, Georgian troops retreated to the capital, Tbilisi, on Monday. FRANCE 24's Nicolas Ransom and Tim Grucza witnessed the retreat with their fixer, Koba.

Georgian troops withdrew from the city of Gori Monday amid rumours of a Russian ground attack.


The city has been bombed by Russian warplanes for several days, and there have been persistent rumours that "the Russians are coming."


On Monday morning, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Georgian President Mikheïl Saakachvili visited Gori to tour residential areas damaged by Russian bombs.


During Saakachvili's visit, FRANCE 24's Tim Grucza and Nicolas Ransom saw a low-flying Russian plane. The plane prompted Saakachvili's bodyguards to take emergency security measures. 


As rumours of a Russian ground attack spread, Georgian troops were ordered to retreat. The FRANCE 24 team followed as soldiers and medical personnel prepared a hasty departure and set off toward the capital, Tbilisi.


On the road leading away from Gori, small-arms fire and a burning Georgian tank were signs of an apparent firefight as the Georgians withdrew.


By nightfall, most Georgian troops had found refuge on the outskirts of Tbilisi,  "the last line of defence", according to Grucza.


To watch the report, click 'Play Video' above

Date created : 2008-08-12