Well, it looks like the loaded diaper has hit the quickly moving air ventilation device.
Well, this is great. The tentions of the region (and "gentle" russian prodding) has finally resulted in war. Georgia invades South Ossetia, Russia gets mad, invades Georgian territory, and now we have a conflict.Originally Posted by http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/09/georgia.ossetia/index.htmlTBLISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Georgia's parliament approved a request by President Mikhail Saakashvili on Saturday to impose a "state of war," as the conflict between Georgia and Russia escalated, Georgian officials said.
Saakashvili accused Russia of launching an unprovoked full-scale military attack against his country, including targeting civilian homes, while Russian officials insist that their troops were protecting people from Georgia's attacks on South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region that borders Russia.
Russia's Interfax news agency said the death toll was at least 2,000 in the capital of South Ossetia and claimed that the city has been destroyed.
Separatist-backed South Ossetian sources reported that about 1,600 people have died and 90 have been wounded in provincial capital Tskhinvali since Russian forces entered the territory Thursday.
Alexander Lomaia, secretary of Georgia's National Security Council, said that dozens of Georgian troops had lost their lives.
"Our losses are mounting ... as many as 40 military servicemen killed and over 100 wounded," he said. "The losses are also mounting among civilian population in the cities."
Georgian officials said Russia has mobilized its Black Sea fleet off the coast of Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian province.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived Saturday in Vladikavkaz, near Russia's border with Georgia, Russia's Interfax reported.
Putin's press secretary told Interfax that Putin was concerned about the flood of refugees arriving in Russia from South Ossetia. Russian officials said that more than 30,000 people have left South Ossetia and crossed into Russia over the past two days, Interfax reported.
"The actions of the Georgian authorities in South Ossetia are a crime, of course, primarily a crime against their own people," Putin said.
"This aggression led to numerous casualties, among civilians in particular, and virtually caused a real humanitarian catastrophe. And that is already a crime against the Ossetian people," he said.
"At the same time, I would like to stress that Georgia has always been greatly respected in Russia and Georgians regarded as brotherly people," the premier said.
U.S. President Bush, speaking from Beijing, China, called for an immediate halt to the violence, a stand-down by all troops and an end to the Russian bombings. Watch Bush express concerns over situation »
The Georgian "state of war" order is not a formal declaration of war and stops short of declaring martial law, according to Georgian officials.
It gives Saakashvili powers he would not ordinarily have, such as issuing curfews, restricting the movement of people or limiting commercial activities, those officials said.
It places the government on a 24-hour alert, Georgian National Security Council Secretary Alexander Lomaia said.
Saakashvili asked Western leaders to pressure Russia to agree to an immediate cease-fire, which he said his country would willingly observe first.
"We are dealing with absolutely criminal and crazy acts of irresponsible and reckless decision makers, which is on the ground producing dramatic and tragic consequences," Saakashvili said Saturday afternoon.
A White House spokesman said Bush spoke Saturday evening to Saakashvili and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Inna Gagloyeva, spokeswoman for the South Ossetian Information and Press Committee, told Russia's Interfax news agency that Tskhinvali was being "massively shelled" with artillery guns. Watch images of crashed Georgian war plane »
It was unclear which side was in control of that city Saturday. The Georgians said fighting raged, but the Russians said they had "liberated" the city.
"Battalion task forces have fully liberated Tskhinvali of Georgian armed forces and started pushing Georgian units out of the area of responsibility of the peacekeeping forces," General Vladimir Boldyrev, commander of the Russian Ground Forces, told Interfax.
Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said the Russian paratroopers will "implement the operation of enforcing peace" on both sides.
Nogovitsyn also confirmed that Georgians had shot down two Russian aircraft. Saakashvili said his military has shot down 10 Russian bombers.
Russia said the troops were also reinforcing the Russian peacekeepers already in South Ossetia.
"Our peacekeepers, along with reinforcement units, are currently conducting an operation to force the Georgian side to accept peace," Medvedev said at the Kremlin. "They are also responsible for protecting the population."
Interfax said 15 peacekeepers were killed in the Friday attack by Georgian troops. Russia has opened a criminal probe into their deaths, Interfax reported.
Georgia, a former Soviet Republic, is a pro-Western ally of the United States intent on asserting its authority over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. which both have strong Russian-backed separatist movements. Watch Georgian minister describe fighting in South Ossetia »
Russia moved troops into South Ossetia early Friday after Georgia launched an operation in the breakaway region when its unilateral cease-fire was met with what it said was artillery fire from separatists that killed 10 people, including peacekeepers and civilians.
Russia charged that Georgia had targeted its peacekeepers stationed in the region.
Medvedev said Saturday that Georgia must be held responsible for the situation in South Ossetia.
"The people responsible for this humanitarian disaster need to be held liable for what they have done," Medvedev said. He said the humanitarian problems were caused by "the aggression launched by the Georgian side against the South Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers."
Maia Kardava, a Red Cross spokeswoman in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, was unable to provide refugee or casualty figures Saturday morning because she said aid workers were still gathering information and visiting hospitals in South Ossetia and western Georgia.
Russian forces bombed several targets in Georgia on Saturday, according to Kardava and the British Foreign Office, which advised against all nonessential travel to Georgia.
Russian aircraft bombarded military and civilian targets the port town of Poti, on Georgia's Black Sea coast, Kardava and British and Georgian officials said. Eight Georgians were killed in the port town, Georgian officials said.
In the town of Senaki, just inland from Poti, Russian forces damaged a railway line, a military base, and a center housing civilians who fled from nearby Abkhazia.
Military bases at Vaziani and Marneuli also came under attack, the British Foreign Office said, and Russian aircraft bombed the Georgian town of Gori, about 35 miles northwest of Tbilisi, Georgian officials said.
Inside South Ossetia, civilians have been without water, electricity and basic services for more than a day, Kardava said. She said the Red Cross was unable to reach colleagues based in Tskhinvali because their phones had lost power and they were huddled in bomb shelters.
Also Saturday, the commander of Georgian troops stationed in Iraq said the 2,000 soldiers there will be withdrawn "very soon."
Colonel Bondo Maisuradze said the United States would provide the transport to get them out of Iraq. He said he had no time frame for the move.
Saakashvili said Friday that the troops were needed in Georgia to defend against the Russian military.
So, fellow internet denizens, how far will this go? Will Georgia collapse? Will the US or NATO get involved? Will my hot pocket be done by the time I post this?