Russians Cut Georgia in Half

Georgian civilians flee from warplanes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2008 5:08 PM CDT
Bodyguards escort Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, center, to shelter under a threat of Russian air attack in Gori, Georgia, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008.    (SERGEI GRITS)
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(Newser) – Russian forces seized several towns and a military base deep in western Georgia today and captured the main east-west highway near Gori, effectively cutting the country in half, Georgia's president said. Fighting also raged around Tskhinvali, the capital of the separatist province of South Ossetia. Russian warplanes launched new air raids across Georgia, with at least one sending screaming civilians running for cover, the AP reports.

The reported capture of the key Georgian city of Gori and the towns of Senaki, Zugdidi, and Kurga came despite a top Russian general's claim earlier today that Russia had no plans to enter Georgian territory. By taking Gori, which sits on Georgia's only east-west highway, Russia can cut off eastern Georgia from the country's western Black Sea coast.