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At The Scene Of Battle In Ossetia

As the clash between Georgia and Russia intensifies, the conflict appears to be opening on two fronts: in the separatist province of Abkahzia and in South Ossetia.

NPR's Ivan Watson is in South Ossetia. He tells Madeleine Brand that he's been watching Georgian and Russian artillery dueling from a hilltop.

He describes watching seven Georgian attack helicopters roaring over the hill.

"It was really a lightening raid, which appears to have come from what little amount of a Georgian air force there is," Watson says.

There are only between 2,000 and 3,000 active fighters in the Georgian army, a stark contrast to Russia's large force.

The United States and Western nations have condemned Russia's attack on Georgian forces in South Ossetia.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.
Madeleine Brand
Madeleine Brand is the host of NPR’s newest and fastest-growing daily show, Day to Day. She conducts interviews with newsmakers (Iraqi politicians, US senators), entertainment figures (Bernardo Bertolluci, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Gervais), and the everyday people affected by the news (an autoworker laid off at GM, a mother whose son was killed in Iraq).