Saakashvili: Russians have cut country in half

Georgia's president says Russia's troops have effectively cut the country in half by seizing a strategic city that straddles the country's only significant east-west highway. President Mikhail Saakashvili made the statement in a national security council meeting on Monday, about an hour after officials claimed Russian troops had captured Gori, about 100 kilometers west of the capital Tbilisi. The news agency Interfax cited a Russian Defense Ministry official as denying the reports of the seizure. But a top official at the Georgian embassy in Moscow, Givi Shugarov, said Russian troops appeared to be moving toward Tbilisi and he alleged Russia's goal was "complete liquidation" of the Georgian government.