“All-Out War” in Georgia

South Ossetia, in the central European nation of Goergia is the scene of bitter fighting between the Russian Federation and national defense forces from Georgia. Witnesses said the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali was devastated, with reports of hundreds of civillian deaths.

Russia sent columns of tanks and reportedly bombed Georgian air bases yesterday after Georgia launched a major military offensive to retake the breakaway province of South Ossetia, threatening to ignite a broader conflict…

“I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars,” said Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, who had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia. link

Georgia told the UN security council today that Russia mounted a “premeditated” attack on its territory that inflicted many civilian casualties.

Irakli Alasania, Georgian ambassador to the UN, addressed the public during an emergency meeting to discuss the fighting.

“Russia launched a blunt and open invasion of Georgia and has challenged the international community and its established democracy,” said Alasania, whose remarks were supported by the United States.

“The United States is profoundly disturbed by this development and we call on Russia to cease all attacks and respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said.

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