Russia Says Offensive Is Over in Georgia

Five days after the assault began, Russia ordered a halt Tuesday to the devastating war which has been waged on Georgia.  The assault included air and ground attacks that left homes in destroyed and uprooted more than 100,000 people.

From the Associated Press:

Georgia said the bombs and shells were still coming hours after the cease-fire was declared, and its President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russia’s aim all along was not to gain control of two disputed provinces but to “destroy” the smaller nation, a former Soviet state and current U.S. ally.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking in Moscow, said Georgia had paid enough for its attack on South Ossetia, a separatist region along the Russian border with close ties to Russia.
“The aggressor has been punished and suffered very significant losses. Its military has been disorganized,” Medvedev said.

Still, the president ordered his defense minister at a televised Kremlin meeting: “If there are any emerging hotbeds of resistance or any aggressive actions, you should take steps to destroy them.”
The overall death toll is expected to rise mainly because large areas of Georgia are still too dangerous for journalists to enter and see the true scope of the damage which has occurred. A tour by Associated Press journalists found the heaviest damage around the government center.
This has been a terrible week for the people of Georgia. The fighting seemed to come out of no where and many thousands of lives have been lost. What will be interesting to see is how this conflict affects gas prices since Georgia sits on a strategic oil pipeline carrying Caspian crude to Western markets and bypassing Russia. Thoughts?
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