Friday, August 15, 2008
IGOETI, Georgia (Reuters) – A Russian military convoy advanced to within 55 km (30 miles) of Tbilisi on Friday, from the Russian-occupied town of Gori inside Georgia proper, a Reuters witness said.
The incursion marked the closest troops have come to the Georgian capital, and coincided with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to push a French-brokered peace plan to end the Russia-Georgia conflict.
The convoy of 10 armored personnel carriers (APC), mounted by soldiers, was initially shadowed by three low-flying Russian combat helicopters as it pulled slowly past Georgian police and then army checkpoints without stopping.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
The helicopters then left the convoy.
The vehicles halted in the village of Igoeti on the main highway to the Georgian capital. Their purpose was not clear. Several APCs pulled into side roads.
Russian troops this week pushed out of breakaway South Ossetia as far as Gori, 25 km (15 miles) from the separatist territory, after Georgian forces withdrew under heavy fighting.
This article was posted: Friday, August 15, 2008 at 8:44 am