Russia Brushes Off Calls for Cease-Fire

Bush, Georgia urge end to fighting
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2008 12:27 PM CDT
A wounded Georgian woman lies in front of an apartment building, damaged by a Russian air strike, in the northern Georgian town of Gori, on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/George Abdaladze)
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(Newser) – Georgia called for a cease-fire today, as Russia sent bombers deeper into the country, but Russia said it would not stop until Georgia had withdrawn from South Ossetia. George Bush made his own call to Dmitry Medvedev, saying that the strikes “mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis,” and urging a cease-fire. Russia estimates that 2,000 civilians have been killed.

In addition, 30,000 refugees have fled the breakaway region, Russia said. Meanwhile officials in Abkhazia, another pro-Russian region, said they were launching their own offensive against Georgia. In a phone call with Bush, Medvedev “stressed that the only way out of the tragic crisis provoked by Georgian leadership” was a complete withdrawal of Georgian forces, the Kremlin said, adding that Russia wouldn’t negotiate otherwise.