Tskhinvali, the capital
of the separatist Georgian province South Ossetia,
lay in smoldering ruins Sunday after three days of fighting between Georgian troops and Russian forces.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said at least 2,000 people, mostly South Ossetians who claim Russian citizenship, have been killed in Tskhinvali.
The fighting had spread well beyond South Ossetia, with Russian airstrikes on Georgian cities and with thousands of Russian troops in the breakaway province of Abkhazia.