Russia has confirmed for the first time that its troops have entered Georgia from the neighbouring breakaway region of Abkhazia, effectively opening up a second front in the Caucasus conflict.
The Kremlin says its soldiers destroyed a military base in the border town of Senaki, but withdrew shortly afterwards.
Russia also says Abkhaz forces have launched an attack against Georgian troops defending an enclave in the Kodori Valley.
However, officials have denied earlier Georgian reports that russian forces have taken the strategic Black Sea port of Poti and the border town of Gori.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili claims his country has been cut in half by Russian forces sweeping in from the North and West.
Battles are still raging in and around the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, including along the only road leading south into Georgia.
Amid the claims and counter-claims, what is clear in this confusing situation is that the death toll of both soldiers and civilians is mounting. The Red Cross says it is too early to say how many have lost their lives.