Russians, Looters Advance on Georgia

Reports suggest seige of Gori, despite ceasefire agreement
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2008 6:31 AM CDT
Russian tanks enter Tskhinvali, capital of Georgian breakaway enclave of South Ossetia on Monday, Aug. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Georgians claimed that Russian tanks advanced from South Ossetia into the city of Gori today, despite a ceasefire brokered by the EU yesterday. Villages were being burned and looted, eyewitnesses told the Guardian. Though the Russian army denied any advance,  tanks appeared to be targeting Georgian military sites, followed by bands of maurauding "irregulars," including Ossetians and Chechens. A reporter for the Guardian described the scene as one of "absolute panic. The idea there of a ceasefire is ridiculous."

"As I speak, the Russian tanks are attacking the town of Gori and are rampaging through the town," Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian president, said at a press conference today, speaking alongside leaders of other former Soviet states. But in Moscow, a top military official insisted that there was no Russian maneuver taking place, "and there is no reason to be, because Gori authorities have fled the city."