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    Saakashvili says Georgia forced into war with Russia

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    Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russia on Monday of forcing his country into war, and said Georgia is battling for its independence.

    TBILISI, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russia on Monday of forcing his country into war, and said Georgia is battling for its independence.

    Saakashvili's televised address, which comes three days after Georgian forces launched a ground and air offensive to seize control over breakaway South Ossetia, was swiftly rejected by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said it was "full of disinformation."

    "We want an immediate end to this violence, which we did not start. We did not want this war, we were forced into it," the Georgian leader said.

    Georgia declared a state of war on Saturday after Russia sent tanks and hundreds of troops into South Ossetia in response to the Georgian offensive. Around 2,000 civilians were killed by Georgian troops in South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali, according to Russia. The city has been virtually destroyed in the conflict.

    Saakashvili pledged to return all South Ossetian refugees, most of whom are Russian citizens, to their homes.

    "We are not fighting the Russian people, and I want everyone to know this. There will come a time when relations with Russia will be good. But we will defend our sovereignty and freedom until the last drop of blood," he said.

    According to Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, over 30,000 civilians have crossed the Russian border from South Ossetia since Georgia began its military offensive.

    Saakashvili called Russia's strikes on Georgian territory "military intervention, the main aim of which is to occupy and annex South Ossetia and Abkhazia and eventually occupy the whole country."

    Earlier in the day a Georgian deputy interior minister said Georgia would seek a trial for Russia at the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed against Georgians since the early 1990s.

    Russian prosecutors have in turn been gathering evidence of Georgia's genocide against South Ossetians.

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