Georgian President declares country is in 'state of war'

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Other articles on the war
The above file photo (2004) shows a sniper taking aim at Ossetian rebels in South Ossetia to allow the Georgian Army forces to move forward Photograph: Jonathan Alpeyrie

Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, has declared that his country is now in a state of war. "I have signed a decree on a state of war. Georgia is under a state of total military aggression by the Russian navy, air force, large-scale ground operations," he said in a televised meeting that was broadcast on national television.

At 11:38 a.m yesterday, before the country formally entered a state of war, the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili announced the mobilization of reserve troops to withstand what he called "a large-scale military aggression" by Russia, and called Russia to stop the "bombardment of Georgian towns."

The decree stated that "The state of war will be valid for 15 days." The period of 15 days started today.

The crisis broke out after days of heavy fighting in the region. On August 7 Georgian troops launched an offensive against the Ossetian town of Tskhinvali, the separatists capital.