Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a halt to military operations in Georgia, according to a Kremlin statement. The declaration came moments before Medvedev was to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss an international peace plan after five days of fighting. While Georgian officials claimed that the Russian army was preparing to sack their capital of Tbilisi, Reuters reports that Moscow's forces stayed largely within the two breakaway regions.
Though military action may be suspended, peace could still be elusive. Russia's foreign minister warned that Moscow would not accept a European proposal for a joint Russian-Georgian peacekeeping force, saying the Georgians "brought shame upon themselves as peacekeepers." Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists in the region of Abkhazia launched a major offensive this morning to drive out the remaining Georgian forces.