Rice: Russia Aimed for Georgia Overthrow

US broadside comes as Moscow refuses to allow observers into South Ossetia
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2008 2:37 PM CDT
The widow of a Georgian military officer grieves during a special ceremony in memory of those killed in the recent war at a cemetery in Tbilisi, Georgia.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blasted Russia today as “increasingly authoritarian at home and aggressive abroad,” accusing Moscow of trying to overthrow the Georgian government during its recent invasion, the Guardian reports. The harshest US condemnation of Russia yet comes as Moscow refuses to allow European observers into South Ossetia, the Moscow-backed breakaway Georgian region.

Russia will accept 200 European monitors in a Georgian “buffer zone” outside two rebel regions, a plan backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy but criticized by the US. "Our strategic goal now is to make it clear to Russia's leaders that their choices are putting Russia on a one-way path to self-imposed isolation and international irrelevance," Rice said.