Russia expands Georgia blitz, deploys ships

August 11, 2008 08:29

A Russian general said positions around the capital of South Ossetia came under heavy firing by Georgian forces early Monday, a day after Georgia claimed to be withdrawing from the shattered city of Tskhinvali and called for a cease-fire. "Active fighting has been going on at several zones," the Interfax news agency quoted Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov as saying. He is commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent that has been in South Ossetia since 1992. The RIA-Novosti news agency cited an unnamed spokesman for the peacekeepers as saying Tskhinvali was being shelled and that Georgia had some 7,400 troops in and around the capital. Russia on Sunday claimed to have sunk a Georgian boat that was trying to attack Russian vessels in the Black Sea, and Georgian officials said Russia sent tanks from South Ossetia into Georgia proper, heading toward a strategic city before being turned back.

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