TBILISI, August 9
Georgia’s parliament accepted President Mikheil Saakashvili’s declaration of martial law on Saturday, as the country battled with Russia for control over breakaway South Ossetia.
Russia sent tanks and hundreds of troops into Georgia on Friday after Tbilisi launched ground and air strikes in a major operation to seize control over the rebel region, devastating the province’s main city, and killing around 1,500 civilians according to Russian reports.
Saakashvili told the national Security Council in a televised statement: “Georgia is now being subjected to Russian military aggression.”
US-Russian tensions in Caucasus erupt into war
By Bill Van Auken
9 August 2008
Long-escalating tensions between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia erupted into full-scale war Friday, leaving hundreds if not thousands of civilians dead and turning thousands more into refugees, forced to flee for their lives.
The immediate focus of the fighting is the attempt by Georgia to militarily seize control of the enclave of South Ossetia, which has existed as a de facto independent entity for the past 16 years, and Russia’s armed intervention to counter this assault.
Underlying this military confrontation, however, are far broader conflicts. Feeding the bloody confrontation in South Ossetia is US imperialism’s drive to establish hegemony over the vast energy resources of Central Asia and the Caucasus through the assertion of American military power in the region. The Russian ruling elite, for its part, is seeking to reassert its grip over a region that was ruled by Moscow for two centuries before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In photos: ‘Georgia South Ossetia Conflict – August 9th’
These photos contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
By James Wray
Aug 9, 2008, 13:15 GMT
Georgia and Russia go toe-to-toe over S Ossetia
Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili has called for an immediate ceasefire to the conflict raging in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, adding that Russia has launched, quote a “fullscale military invasion of its country”.
Russia says its just trying to protect its people, and described the situation there as a humanitarian catastrophe.
Jonah Hull has the latest on the outskirts of South Ossetia.
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