Tensions are running high in Georgia after Tbilissi announced it was cutting diplomatic ties with Moscow. The Kremlin angered Tbilissi earlier this week by recognising the independence of the two separatist regions of Abkhasia and South Ossetia.
People have been taking to the streets in border regions with the breakaway territories to protest against the ongoing presence of Russian troops.
Moscow has further fuelled tensions by claiming a ceasefire deal agreed with Georgia earlier this month allows it to occupy what it calls “security zones” around the breakaway territories.
It has responded to Georgia’s decision to recall its ambassador by closing down its own embassy in Tbilissi. But it has also called on the EU not to rush into punitive action.
Although the West has criticised Russia for sending troops deep into Georgian territory, the European bloc’s current president, France, has urged restraint saying now is not the time for sanctions.
An estimated 160,000 people have been left displaced by the conflict over the seperatist territories earlier this month.