CONQUERED: Georgia In The Belly Of The Russian Bear

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: ZUGDIDI, Georgia — Russian tanks roared deep into Georgia on Monday, launching a new western front in the conflict, and Russian planes staged air raids that sent people screaming and fleeing for cover in some towns. Russian forces for the first time moved well outside the two restive, pro-Russian provinces claimed by Georgia that lie at the heart of the dispute. An Associated Press reporter saw Russian troops in control of government buildings in this town just miles from the frontier and Russian troops were reported in nearby Senaki. Georgia’s president said his country had been sliced in half with the capture of a critical highway crossroads near the central city of Gori, and Russian warplanes launched new air raids across the country. MORE

UPDATE: MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a halt to military action in Georgia on Tuesday, after five days of air and land attacks that took Russian forces deep into its small U.S.-allied neighbor in the Caucasus. Medvedev said on national television that the military had punished Georgia enough for its attack on South Ossetia. Georgia launched an offensive late Thursday to regain control over the separatist Georgian province, which has close ties to Russia.”The security of our peacekeepers and civilians has been restored,” Medvedev said. “The aggressor has been punished and suffered very significant losses. Its military has been disorganized.”

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