The weekend begins with Russian armour establishing facts on the ground in South Ossetia.

ASD123SDF8.jpgThe occupation of Georgian territory and the methods used have brought some of the fiercest words from the USA in two decades. In an apparent violation of the ceasefire deal the Russian army is extending the zone it controls, and while US foreign minister Condoleezza Rice has recieved faithful assurances Russia will respect the deal’s terms, Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili has doubts.

“We are seeing the broadening of the zone of occupation. I hope President Medvedev respects and honours his own signature and withdraws his forces from those urban areas where they entered totally illegally as part of this intervention,” he said.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has also been adding her voice calling for Russian restraint while meeting Russia’s President Dimitry Medvedev in the black sea resort of Sochi. He also took a pop at America’s missile deterrent to be based in Poland as a “fairy tale”.

“We are not against international peacekeepers, but the problem is in Ossetians and Abkhazians themselves, because they don’t trust any other peacekeepers except Russians,” he maintained.

President Bush has called Russia’s thrust into Georgia “unacceptable”, and his foreign minister says armed forces need to leave Georgia “at once”.

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