WASHINGTON - Georgia's president has agreed to a ceasefire plan with Russia, which calls for both countries to move back to their original positions.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said that the deal, brokered by France, means "there should be a cease-fire" by early Wednesday morning.
Why is Russia stopping now? Click play to hear more analysis from CBN News International Reporter Dale Hurd, following John Jessup's report as seen on Newswatch, 4 p.m. EST.
Earlier Tuesday, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a halt to military action in the conflict in Georgia, but also demanded Georgian troops pull out from pro-Russian breakaway regions.
The directive came just as foreign leaders began turning up the heat on the two countries to settle the crisis.
Cease-Fire? Not Quite Says Georgia
After five days of ground and air assaults, the small pro-western nation of Georgia has effectively been cut in half, with Russian troops in control of South Ossetia and the western Georgian province of Abkhazia
Medvedev said the country's democratic government had been punished enough for trying to put down a pro-Russian separatist uprising late last week.
But Georgia said earlier Tuesday that Russia has not ceased its bombing campaign despite its pledge otherwise.
Meanwhile, more than a thousand people reportedly have been killed in the conflict and thousands more homeless.
Delivering his strongest rebuke yet, President Bush condemned Russia's aggressive invasion.
"Russia's government must respect Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Russian government must reverse the course it appears to be on and accept this peace agreement as a first step toward resolving this conflict," Bush said.
But Georgian officials fear Russia wants to topple its democratic government. And they want their western backers to match the tough talk with action.
"I think it's high time not only to make statements about democracy but to take concrete steps in protecting the people that are suffering for trying to be Democrats," Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili said.
Going the Diplomatic Route
But the EU and other western leaders are banking on diplomacy to bring about a peaceful resolution.
"Unless you send US troops NATO troops you will not be able to remove Russian troops from South Ossetia. It would require war and I don't think we are ready for that," the president of the Nixon Center, Dimitri Simes, said.
Saakashvili suspects the invasion had been in the works for some time and has accused Russia of starting the uprising in South Ossetia as a justification to move in.
Senior U.S. officials agree, arguing the conflict may be used a way to install a pro-Russian government, gain control of Georgia's strategic oil pipeline, and serve as an example to other former republics moving toward more pro-western ideals.
Despite being outmatched in force and strength, Georgia's president insists his country will prevail.
Saakashvili said, "One thing should be made very clear:This nation is not going to surrender."