Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Georgian President Saaksvilli Says Russians Moving to Blockade Tbilisi

The Georgian Foreign Ministry appears have set up a site here, so the Russians can't close down their communications. Here is the site of their Washington Embassy.

"Russian troops waved at journalists and one soldier jokingly shouted to a photographer: "Come with us, beauty, we're going to Tbilisi!"--FOX News (8-13-08)

"Oleg Panfilov, the director of the Moscow-based Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations in Moscow, is currently in Tbilisi. Panfilov spoke to Dmitry Volchek of RFE/RL's Russian Service about the difficulties of reporting the conflict both inside and outside Georgia...The Foreign Ministry of Georgia has been forced to transfer its work to a normal blog on the server"--RFE/RL (8-13-08) [See also the Georgian Service of RFE/RL and the Jamestown Foundation]

FOX News (8-13-08) reports:

Russian armored vehicles are moving deeper into Georgian territory, shattering a truce to end the six days of fighting.

Georgian officials say the city of Gori was looted and bombed by the Russians. An AP reporter later saw dozens of tanks and military vehicles leaving the city, roaring south.

Russian troops waved at journalists and one soldier jokingly shouted to a photographer: "Come with us, beauty, we're going to Tbilisi!"

A FOX News reporter in Tbilisi says they received a text message from other reporters warning them to "get out now." On their way out they witnessed more than 50 Russian armored vehicles on the road into Gori.

A Russian government official who wasn't authorized to give his name said that Russian troops checked a Georgian military base near Gori and found lots of abandoned weapons and ammunition. Russian troops moved to take the supplies to a safe place as part of efforts to demilitarize the area.

Saaksvilli says the U.S. and the west have underestimated Russia's regional ambitions, saying Georgia warned the west that a large-scale Russian invasion was coming but were told by the U.S. State Department that the Russians "are not going to do that."

Georgian President Mikhail Saaksvilli says Russians are enforcing some sort of blockade around Tbilisi, but have not entered the capital. [See full text which is followed by a long AP report]


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