Bush Sends Aid, Rice to Georgia

Role of Russian military in Georgia unclear
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2008 2:53 PM CDT
President Bush, followed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, walks to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – President Bush announced that the US would send humanitarian aid into Georgia today as hostilities threatened to overwhelm the fragile peace agreement, the New York Times reports. In announcing that he was dispatching Condoleezza Rice to mediate the dispute, Bush said that the US “stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists that its sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected.”

In Georgia, paranoia reigned as a Russian tank battalion’s occupation of the city of Gori stirred rumors that the tanks would attack Tbilisi, which is only 40 miles away. Yesterday’s agreement, despite mandating a withdrawal, gives wide leeway to Russian forces to “implement security measures”—a situation President Saakashvili characterized as “the fox guarding the chickens.”