August 9, 2008
Russia Sends Troops Into Rebel Enclave in Georgia
By ANNE BARNARD and ANDREW KRAMER
MOSCOW — Russia sent troops rolling into a breakaway region of Georgia on Friday, after Georgian troops entered the capital of the pro-Russian enclave, in a sharp escalation of the conflict.
As Georgian forces declared they had won control of the enclave’s capital, Tskhinvali, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin declared that “war has started” and President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia accused Russia of a "well-planned invasion," according to Bloomberg.
One unconfirmed report said Georgian forces had shot down two Russian planes in the breakaway region, South Ossetia, and Georgia said that its aircraft had bombed a convoy of Russian tanks that moved into the area. Russia’s Channel 1 television showed Russian tanks entering South Ossetia. It reported that two battalions reinforced by tanks and armored personnel carriers were approaching Tskhinvali.