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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 16:19 UK

Day-by-day: Georgia-Russia crisis

A day-by-day look at the third week of the conflict involving Russia and Georgia over the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia.

WEDNESDAY 27 AUGUST
Senior European politicians launch a burst of diplomacy in an attempt to shore up opposition to Russia's perceived aggression.
A US aid ship comes into view at the port of Batumi
Another US aid ship arrives in Georgia

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband makes a speech in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, calling on Nato to initiate "hard-headed engagement" with Moscow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev over the telephone, calling for the ceasefire agreement to be initiated immediately.

Meanwhile, Georgia announces its diplomatic ties with Russia will be reduced to a minimum.

Georgian spokesman Timur Yakobashvili says the number of staff at the Moscow embassy will be cut and Georgia's ambassador, who was pulled out last month, will not return.

And a US ship carrying aid arrives in Georgia - the second since the crisis began. It changes its course, avoiding the Russian-occupied port of Poti, docking at Batumi instead.


TUESDAY 26 AUGUST

President Dmitry Medvedev declares that Russia formally recognises the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian television channel Vesti TV grab shows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev making a statement to the nation from Sochi, 26 August, 2008
Russia's formal recognition of the Georgian rebels brings condemnation

The move, in defiance of a specific plea from US President George W Bush, prompts widespread condemnation from around the world.

Russia also cancels a visit by Nato's secretary general, one of a series of measures to suspend co-operation with the military alliance.

The US says its warships will deliver aid to Georgia's port of Poti, which is under Russian control. This could mean US and Russian forces coming face-to-face.


MONDAY 25 AUGUST

Russia's parliament backs a motion urging the president to recognise the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both houses vote unanimously in favour of the non-binding motion.

A woman stands in her house destroyed by a Russian bombing in Gori, Georgia, 25 August, 2008
The US president says it is deeply concerned about the vote

US President George W Bush says he is deeply concerned and calls on Russia's leadership to meet its commitments and not recognise these separatist regions.

Leaders from Germany, the UK and Italy also expresses concern that the vote would raise tensions further in the Caucasus.

Alexander Stubb, the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), says Russia is trying to empty Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia of its ethnic Georgian population.

Britain says it "would be a mistake" if Russia and Nato did not maintain links in the wake of the Georgian crisis. This follows Russia's announcement that it was stopping military co-operation with the alliance.


SUNDAY 24 AUGUST

A US warship arrives in the Georgian port of Batumi carrying the first delivery of aid supplies by sea.

USS McFaul passing through Bosphorus Strait heading for Georgia 22 August
The USS McFaul is the first of three ships to arrive in Georgia

Russian forces still control the military port of Poti, to the north.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the ceasefire, calls a special summit of EU leaders on Georgia for 1 September.

Earlier, he phoned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to urge him to pull his forces out of Georgia proper.

A train full of fuel is blown up by a mine near the Georgian town of Gori.


SATURDAY 23 AUGUST

Russia defends plans to keep its forces in the key Georgian port of Poti, saying it does not break terms of the French-brokered ceasefire.

A Russian soldier, his helmet marked "Peacekeeping Forces", watches combat troops pull out of Georgia on 22 August
Shoulder and helmet badges mark out Russia's peacekeepers

The US, France and UK say Russia has already failed to comply by creating buffer zones around the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russia's Gen Anatoly Nogovitsyn says combat troops have now left Georgia and only peacekeepers remain.

He warns that should the US start rearming the Georgian army, Russia might enlarge its peacekeeping force.

Georgia accuses Moscow of creating an economic stranglehold on the country.

For the first time in more than two weeks the main road from the capital Tbilisi to Gori is packed with traffic.

Minivans ferry passengers back to the towns they left and carry provisions to villages where very little has got through since the conflict began.


FRIDAY 22 AUGUST

Russia says it has completed its withdrawal of troops from Georgian territory - but Georgia, France and the US say it continues to violate the terms of a ceasefire deal.

Earlier in the day, large columns of Russian armour leave Georgian territory for the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian tanks near the western town of Zugdidi (22 August 2008)
Georgia says it will not accept any "annexation" of its territory by Russia

Russia's Deputy Chief of General Staff, Gen Anatoly Nogovitsyn, says that nearly 2,600 troops, with armoured personnel carriers and helicopters, will remain as peacekeepers in a "zone of responsibility" around South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

He says the zone will encompass segments of a strategic highway, linking the eastern Georgia with its Black Sea coast to the west.

The US and France say Russia's buffer zones and checkpoints outside the breakaway territories flout the ceasefire deal.

Georgia says it will not accept any "annexation" of its territory by Russian forces.

The UN Security Council is deadlocked over the situation in Georgia with the US and Russia rejecting each other's rival resolutions on the crisis.

Russia sees foreign reserves decline, a sign that the market is more nervous about investing in the region since the recent conflict in Georgia.


THURSDAY 21 AUGUST

Russia tells Nato it is suspending all military co-operation. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was not shutting the door to future co-operation, but that Nato had to decide what was more important to it - supporting Georgia or developing a partnership with Russia.

Valery Gergiev conducts in Tskhinvali on 21 August
Gergiev conducted Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich symphonies

Separatist leaders of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia urge Russia to recognise their independence, as thousands attend pro-independence rallies in both territories.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow's response to their pleas would depend on the conduct of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Russia says it will keep troops in a security zone around South Ossetia, establishing eight checkpoints at which 500 peacekeepers will be deployed.

World-renowned conductor Valery Gergiev, an ethnic Ossetian, gives a concert amid the ruins of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali with his home orchestra, the Mariinsky of St Petersburg.





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