Bush talks, Russia listens?
Earlier, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev ordered a halt to its military action in Georgia, saying the campaign had brought security in its South Ossetia region that is close to Moscow.
According to my atlas, Moscow is over 1000 miles from South Ossetia, about the same distance as Berlin, another former Soviet satellite.
"The aggressor has been punished and suffered very significant losses. Its military has been disorganized," Medvedev said in a nationally televised statement.
His order came just hours after Bush's strongest statement on the fighting since it began at the end of last week. He demanded that Russia withdraw its troops from Georgia, end what he called a "dramatic and brutal escalation" of violence, and accept international mediation to end the crisis. Bush said Russia's actions had "substantially damaged Russia's standing in the world."
With Georgia insisting that Russian forces were still bombing and shelling, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Tuesday it was too early to comment on Medvedev's move. "We are trying to get an assessment of what a halt means and whether it is taking place, of course," the spokesman added.
The Telegraph has excellent coverage of the Russian advance.
Now Russia wants to be rewarded for their aggression, and not with just South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia wants a buffer zone around these enclaves, from which all Georgian forces will be excluded, and is demanding that Georgia give a signed pledge never to use force in the regions again.
With his Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, Mr Sarkozy will now place these terms before President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia. After suffering five days of Russian onslaught, Georgia's beleaguered leader may have little choice but to agree.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Mr Sarkozy, the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, insisted his forces would remain in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. "That has been the case and that will continue to be the case," Mr Medvedev said.
However, over half an hour after Mr Medvedev gave his ceasefire order, The Daily Telegraph saw three Russian helicopters fire nine missiles at targets 25 miles north of Tbilisi. It was not immediately clear what they were shooting at.
"Despite the Russian president's claims earlier this morning that military operations against Georgia have been suspended, at this moment, Russian fighter jets are bombarding two Georgian villages outside South Ossetia," the Georgian government said.
Now the question remains, if Russia succeeds in it's quest for Georgian territory today, what's to stop the hungry bear from gobbling up more 'buffer zones' tomorrow?