Parts of Russia's 58th Army — including 150 tanks and armored vehicles — reportedly were moving Friday on the capital of South Ossetia after Georgian troops entered the city in an attempt to crush separatist forces seeking to control the breakaway province.
Kakha Lamaia, a member of Georgia's National Security Council, told Reuters the two countries are "very close" to war, if not already at war.
"If it's not war, then we are very close to it," Lamaia said. "The Russians have invaded Georgia and we are under attack."
President Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly were discussing the Georgia crisis after attending the opening of the Beijing Olympic games.
Georgia's president said Friday that his country is under attack by Russian tanks and warplanes, and he accused Russia of targeting civilians as tensions over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia appeared to boil over into full-blown conflict.
"All day today, they've been bombing Georgia from numerous warplanes and specifically targeting (the) civilian population, and we have scores of wounded and dead among (the) civilian population all around the country," President Mikhail Saakashvili told CNN in an exclusive interview.
"This is the worst nightmare one can encounter," he said.
Asked whether Georgia and Russia were now at war, he said, "My country is in self-defense against Russian aggression. Russian troops invaded Georgia
Earlier Friday, Russian military aircraft dropped two bombs on Georgian territory, a Georgian official said, causing no casualties.
In a letter addressed to his "fellow citizens" Friday, Saakashvili said he had mobilized tens of thousands of reserve officers and that the mobilization continued.
"We must unite," Saakashvili wrote. "All of us, hundreds of thousands of Georgians here and abroad, should come together, unite, and fight to save Georgia. We are a freedom-loving people, and if our nation is united, no aggressor will be able to harm it."
More at Bloomberg.
I woke to this news, so no commentary at this time.