Global Politics

Russians advance attacks in Georgia

GG: we saw three-dozen tanks and armored personnel carriers as well as military vehicles moving through this Georgian town. These vehicles were followed by what appeared to be ordinary citizen busses packed with Georgian troops and then Georgian troops in regular cars. The first sign of panic I saw was a couple of Georgian troops and residents and journalists in a bit of a controlled panic following the entrance of the Russian troops. On the road to Tbilisi I saw no vehicles traveling in the opposite direction, with both civilian and military vehicles. (How far is this town from Tbilisi?) 50 or 60 miles away and the journey takes about an hour. You could see on the road people consulting each other and swapping stories. (One Georgian official accused Russia of occupying the country and trying to overthrow the democratically elected government. Are people worried that this conflict is going to escalate into something bigger?) Yes, I think a lot of Georgians never believed the Russians were going to stop at the border with South Ossetia. Relations between the two countries have been bitter especially since 2003 and the two leaders have a real enmity towards each other. (What are Georgians saying about where the US is in all of this?) A lot of Georgians are upset about the lack of a US presence, and say they were the third largest coalition to the US effort in Iraq, and now where is the US for us?

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