GORI, Georgia – Russian armored vehicles rolled deep into western Georgia on Monday, quickly seizing several towns and a military base and slicing open a damaging second front in Russia’s battle with Georgia. Other Russian forces captured the key central city of Gori.
Fighting also raged Monday around Tskhinvali, the capital of the separatist province of South Ossetia. Swarms of Russian planes launched new raids across Georgia, sending screaming civilians running for cover.
The invasions of Gori and the towns of Senaki, Zugdidi and Kurga came despite a top Russian general’s claim earlier Monday that Russia had no plans to enter Georgian territory. By taking Gori, which sits on Georgia’s only east-west highway, Russia has the potential to effectively cut the country in half.