APTOPIX Russia Georgia South Ossetia

APTOPIX Russia Georgia South Ossetia

Russian heavy armoured vehicles in the Ardon Valley , Russia, heading towards the Georgian border and South Ossetia on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008. Russia sent hundreds of tanks and troops into the separatist province of South Ossetia and bombed Georgian towns Saturday in a major escalation of the conflict that has left scores of civilians dead and wounded. Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally, had launched an offensive Friday to retake control of breakaway South Ossetia. Russia, which has close ties to the province and posts peacekeepers there, responded by sending in armed convoys and combat aircraft. (AP Photo / Mikhail Metzel)