Putin accuses Georgia of genocide
UPDATE: 11:42PM EST
The United States has now stated that they fault Russia for the rising violence in Georgia:
The Bush administration official, who briefed reporters on condition his name not be used because of the sensitive nature of the situation, said Russia has attacked areas in Georgia that are far away from the separatist province of South Ossetia, where the fighting has centered. The official also said the Russian military is striking civilian targets.
"They have employed strategic bombers — the most potent air weaponry that is in the Russian arsenal .... They actually launched ballistic missile attacks on Georgian territory," the official said. He also said Russia has sent more than 1,000 paratroopers and armor into the region.
Russian bombing has also taken place in Abkhazia, a separate breakaway region of Georgia, far from South Ossetia, the official said.
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has now accused Georgia of genocide, as the fighting has intensified today.
He stated that Georgia was seeking 'bloody adventures' and of course, he defended Russia's decision to intervene.
Diplomatic efforts are being stepped up to try to halt what Tbilisi has called an "annihilation" of its democracy.
Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili earlier called for an immediate ceasefire to stop "this madness".
In the absence of independent verification, there are conflicting figures about the casualties suffered on both sides but the numbers appeared to rise sharply on Saturday.
The death toll in South Ossetia is believed to be about 1,400, and most of those are acknowledged to be civilians.
Casualities in Georgia are believed to be about 130, with about 37 civilians.
Mr. Putin has now left Beijing and has flown to the Russian city of Vladikavkaz, saying the Georgia was committing 'complete genocide'.
Putin puts the numbers of refugees at about 34,000, but the UN is saying that about 7,400 people have been displaced by the fighting.
The UN Security Council is currently meeting to try and decide what to do, as they are concerned that Russia will now want to redraw the world map.