In front of the United Nations in New York, Georgia has demanded a Russian troop withdrawal and a ceasefire.
In the diplomatic version of events on the battlefield, Georgia and Russia traded accusations during an emergency session of the Security Council.
“The world is witnessing a blunt and open violation of universally-recognised norms and principles of international law,” said Irakli Alasania, the Georgian Ambassador to the UN. “Russia is openly challenging the international community and jeopardising established international order and stability.”
“There are reports of ethnic cleansing in villages in South Ossetia,” the Russian Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin countered. “The population is panicking.”
Russia also accused Georgia of deliberately shooting peacekeepers and not allowing medical services to save people, all of which Tbilisi denied.
Now American, European and envoys for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe are headed for Tbilisi to try to persuade Georgia and Russia to lay down their arms. The US has already called on Moscow to pull out.