As Russian troops tighten their grip on South Ossetia, reports say the international airport in Georgia’s capital has been bombed.
It comes shortly before the scheduled arrival in Tbilisi of Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of current European Union president, France, on a peacemaking mission.
Tbilisi denies it has been defeated by Russian forces. But, faced with Moscow’s military might, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says his country has declared a ceasefire and is ready for immediate talks.
Truce, what truce? says Russia. It maintains the Georgians are still fighting and have not, as claimed, fully withdrawn from the disputed enclave of South Ossetia.
Russia intervened amid a Georgian push to re-take control of the rebel region from separatists.
At the United Nations meanwhile, accusations have been flying, with the US ambassador accusing Russia of impeding Georgian forces’ withdrawal from South Ossetia.