Article published on the 2008-08-08 Latest update 2008-08-08 17:23 TU
The escalation in fighting follows Thursday night's bombardments by Georgian forces in which civilians and Russian troops were reported killed.
The response from Russia was immediate, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announcing from Beijing that Russia would have to retaliate.
The Russian army entered the city later on Friday, and a spokesman for Russian army chief Vladimir Boldyrev was quoted as saying that Russian tank and artillery units had destroyed Georgian positions around the city.Russia called for a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday morning.
The Council which expressed concern over the issue but could not agree on a Russian statement to urge both sides to stop hostilities.
The European Union, Nato and
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) rushed a special envoy to the region to kickstart talks between the Georgian government and South Ossetian representatives on Friday.
Georgia accuses Russia of trying to take over South Ossetia, which broke away from Tbilisi's control in the early 1990s.
Tensions in the region have escalated in recent months. Georgia's government has accused Moscow of trying to take over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another separatist region. South Ossetia has been attempting to join Nato, a move which Russia opposes.
2008-05-23 09:37 TU
2008-05-21 14:17 TU