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Georgia Cries Uncle?

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This looks like a surrender to me:

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said its soldiers were observing a cease-fire on orders of the president and declared the move in a note handed over to Russia’s envoy to Tbilisi.

A spokesman for the Russian Embassy confirmed the Georgian note was received; the Russian Foreign Ministry had no immediate response.

“Georgia expresses its readiness to immediately start negotiations with the Russian Federation on cease-fire and termination of hostilities,” the ministry said in a statement.

Things appear to have quieted in South Ossetia; unclear if fighting in Abkhazia is continuing. Russian air attacks, as far as I know, are ongoing.

…Russia isn’t finished:

Russian tanks and troops moved through the separatist enclave of South Ossetia and advanced on the city of Gori in central Georgia on Sunday night, for the first time directly assaulting a Georgian city with ground forces after three days of heavy fighting, Georgian officials said.

Georgian tanks were dug into positions outside Gori and planning to defend the city, said Shota Utiashvili, an official in Georgia’s interior ministry. He said the city of Gori was coming under artillery and tank fire. There was no immediate comment from Russia.

The Russians have overwhelming firepower on their side, while the Georgians are dug in, defending their home territory. Putin is risking a lot by escalating this.

…Fire up your Google Earth and take a look at the situation. Gori is about 17 miles from Tskhinvali, about 1000′ downhill over what looks to me like a fairly even slope. Tblisi is about 50 miles by road to the east, over much more difficult terrain.

…Matt Weiner notes that this was included in an earlier version of the NYT article cite above:

Exhausted Georgian troops, their faces covered with stubble, said they were angry at the United States and EU for not coming to Georgia’s aid. A Georgian major who was driving an armored truck out of South Ossetia and who gave his name as Georgy, said, ‘Over the past few years I lived in a democratic country, and I was happy. Now America and the European Union spit on us.’

If either the Georgian military or political class believed that the US and the EU would provide material assistance, then this was a larger miscalculation than I had previously believed.

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