After the disaster of last summer's war, the charismatic president of the former Soviet republic hopes it won't be sacrificed to improve US-Russian relations. Shaun Walker meets Mikheil Saakashvili
The first British government minister to visit Georgia since the Russian invasion made a point of meeting opposition leaders as public discontent over Mikheil Saakashvili’s role in the disaster that has befallen the country began to grow.
The Russian occupation of large areas of Georgia continued yesterday in apparent defiance of international agreements and promises to withdraw.
Russia finally signs ceasefire – but no sign of pull-out yet as Moscow exploits West's discomfort to the hilt. By Kim Sengupta in Gori, Shaun Walker in Tbilisi, and Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Not many countries name the main road from the airport in their capital city "George W Bush Boulevard", but Georgia has gone to great lengths to court the world's one remaining superpower as an insurance policy against the resurgent Russia of Vladimir Putin.
Wearing his trademark dark suit and red tie, Mikheil Saakashvili emerged on to the terrace of his new Presidential Palace into a humid Tbilisi afternoon yesterday to face the world's media. He spoke passionately about the need for the international community to respond to Russia's "invasion" of his country, but for a media-hungry man renowned for his charm and charisma, he looked fatigued and strained.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili accused Moscow of trying to overthrow his government today as Russian troops pushed into two separatist regions of his country and rejected a Georgian ceasefire proposal.
Georgia's appeal for a ceasefire seemed to have fallen on deaf ears last night as Russian jets expanded their bombardment, targeting the capital, Tbilisi, for the first time. As the world's diplomats hurried to contain the violence and prevent the conflict engulfing the wider Caucasus region, Russia made clear it no longer considered Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili a partner, prompting accusations from his main ally, the United States, that Moscow was resisting peace and wanted regime change.
Moscow has refused requests to seek international arbitration over its increasingly tense standoff with Georgia as the government in Tblisi threatened to shoot down any Russian planes that flew over its territory.
Two photos stand out in the office of the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili – there's an autographed one of him with his buddy, George Bush; then there's the unsmiling one with his nemesis Vladimir Putin. The body language says it all – the Georgian looks the other way, the Russian disdainfully at the ground. Yet more than anyone else, Mr Putin has defined the presidency of Mr Saakashvili, who came to power in the rose revolution of 2003 promising to bury Georgia's Soviet past.
Underneath the red, white and green Abkhazian flag, border guards check documents on the bridge over the river Psou, just outside the Russian city of Sochi.
In the murky post-Soviet world of money, business, politics and crime, knowing who to stick close to is vital. Badri Patarkatsishvili made his billions by keeping close to the controversial Russian oligarch and former political insider Boris Berezovsky as he made his way through a succession of highly profitable businesses that were built on the back of untapped resources and Soviet industrial failure.