Russia exercised its veto power in the UN Security Council and brought an end late Monday to the nearly 16-year-old observer mission monitoring a cease-fire between Georgia and its breakaway Abkhazia region.
Russia's veto toppled a Western plan to extend the life of the UN mission for another year, or even two more weeks, to work out a compromise. The vote was 10-1 with four abstentions - China, Vietnam, Libya and Uganda.
The mission's mandate will now expire at midnight Monday in New York, requiring about 130 military observers and more than a dozen police to leave. Both the name - the UN Observer Mission in Georgia - and references to Georgia's territorial sovereignty were sticking points.