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'2,000 dead' in conflict between Georgia and Russia

By Nick Paton Walsh

Updated on 09 August 2008

Georgia declares a state of war with Russia in its dispute over South Ossetia, amid claims of 2,000 deaths and tens of thousands of refugees.

Georgia has accused Russia of a "full-scale military invasion" in breakaway South Ossetia.

Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who has flown close to the region, said his country's actions were "totally legitimate".

A joint US-European team is on its way to try and negotiate a ceasefire.

Russian forces have poured into South Ossetia. They claim they have seized control of the capital, Tskhinvali, although Georgia said it still held the city.

Russian jets also carried out five raids around the Georgian town of Gori and hit tankers and a shipbuilding plant in Poti on the Black Sea.

And rebels in another pro-Russian enclave Abkhazia said their fighters were trying to drive out Georgian forces with bomb attacks in the Kodori Gorge.

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