At a media conference, the Georgian president condemned Moscow. He says the timing of the Russian action was deliberate, and says Tibilisi will not surrender: “The goal of this operation is not only to seize and annex part of Georgian territory, but they clearly said that the goal of this operation is regime- change in Georgia, the change of a democratically elected government of Georgia.”
Saakashvili has called for international help, saying the goal of Russian soldiers is “ethnic cleansing”. The French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, today saw first hand how volatile the situation is. Accompanied by the Georgian president, he visited the town of Gori, the scene of heavy bombing. It was during an inspection of some of the damage that an alert of danger was sounded. Security guards were quick to react, taking measures to protect Saakashvili and Kouchner.