Russian tanks have rolled deep into western Georgia, slicing open a damaging second front in Russia's military battle with Georgia and seizing a military base near the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.
Heavy fighting was also reported just south of a second breakaway region, South Ossetia, near the strategic city of Gori.
Russia has denied occupying Gori, but witnesses confirm that a mass evacuation of the city by civilians and the Georgian military is under way early (Monday) evening. The Gori evacuation and Russian troop presence in Senaki and several other nearby western towns came despite a top Russian general's earlier claim that Russia had no plans to enter Georgian territory.
Senaki lies about 40 kilometers south of Georgia's separatist republic of Abkhazia, near the Black Sea coast. Earlier Monday,Moscow issued an ultimatum demanding that 15-hundred Georgian troops stationed near Abkhazia either disarm or face attack.