Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili gave a live television interview overnight, calling Russia’s military action an “all-out invasion”.
He ordered troops to retreat from Gori to Tbilisi, to protect the capital. Hundreds of terrified residents also fled towards the city, using any means of transport they could find.
Saakashvilli denounced what he called Moscow’s twisted logic: “Every time Russia – the Soviet Union – in the past, attacked somebody, they have always claimed that they responded, you know, they were “attacked” by Czechoslovakia, they were attacked by Hungary, they were attacked by Finland in 1939 when Stalin’s Russia tried to annex Finland. Of course, Russia never attacks itself, they always come to the rescue of minorities or got attacked by neighbouring small nations.”