Bush Warns Russia to Pull Back in Georgia

Kremlin may have planned and instigated war, US official says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2008 7:04 PM CDT
President Bush makes a statement about the situation in Georgia in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008, in Washington. Bush said that Russia must reverse course in Georgia and withdraw...   (Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – President Bush on Monday demanded that Russia end a "dramatic and brutal escalation" of violence in Georgia, agree to an immediate cease-fire and accept international mediation to end the crisis in the former Soviet republic. "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century," the president said.

A senior U.S. official said the United States and its allies suspected Russia had been planning an invasion for some time, and deliberately instigated the conflict through attacks on Georgian villages by pro-Russian forces in South Ossetia—despite outwardly appealing for calm and promising to rein in the separatists. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal Bush administration deliberations, said there were numerous "unpleasant precedents" for the current situation.