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Georgia's Saakashvili signs South Ossetia ceasefire plan

Georgia's Saakashvili signs South Ossetia ceasefire plan 11.08.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has signed a ceasefire plan for South Ossetia, a RIA Novosti correspondent said on Monday.

The exact details of the document, drafted by the French and Finnish foreign ministers, are currently unavailable.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb are now expected to bring the document to Moscow, where they will discuss it with Russian authorities later on Monday.

Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of Russia's General Staff, was cautious however, saying that, "The statement [on the ceasefire] was made to lull the public into a sense of security. But we are remaining vigilant. We, the military, must not relax," he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier on Monday that Russia had almost completed its operation to force Georgia to accept peace in South Ossetia. He said that Russian forces had now taken control of Tskhinvali, the capital of the South Ossetian breakaway republic that was attacked by Georgia on Friday.

"We have completed the bulk of an operation to force Georgia to accept peace in South Ossetia. Russian peacekeepers have assumed control of Tskhinvali," Medvedev told Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The August 8 attack on Tskhinvali came shortly after Saakashvili had announced a unilateral ceasefire in the area. Russia has said that some 2,000 civilians have died in the South Ossetian capital since the Georgian assault.

A Russian government spokesperson said on Monday that Georgian forces had resumed artillery attacks against Tskhinvali.

"Artillery attacks on Tskhinvali resumed about an hour ago. Six salvos have been fired," Irina Gagloyeva said. There have been no reports of any casualties.

The South Ossetian administration added that all the roads leading to Tskhinvali were under currently under sniper fire.

Alexander Kots, a reporter for the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid, who was injured while reporting in South Ossetia, said Georgian servicemen had been finishing off injured Russian peacekeepers.

"I personally saw two injured servicemen being finished off," Kots told Russia's ORT TV channel upon his return to Moscow.

The AP news agency reported on Monday that "swarms of Russian jets" had bombed Georgia. It did not give any further details.

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