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Main entry into gori controlled by russia

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 Picture: (AFP/Marco Longari)
Georgian residents from the flashpoint city of Gori pass in front of a Russian armored personnel carrier. The world awaited the promised start of a Russian pullout of combat troops from Georgia today.

Russian troops today controlled the main entry into the Georgian city of Gori, amid expectations that Moscow was to start pulling out its forces.

Two Russian soldiers at a checkpoint did not allow journalists to enter the town, just 60 kilometres west of Tbilisi.
A military truck and an armored personnel carrier could also be seen at the site. A convoy of four vehicles from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was however allowed through the checkpoint.

An AFP correspondent saw a light Russian military presence on the road into Gori from the crossroads at Igoeti, 40 kilometres west of Tbilisi, including a half dozen Russian APCs and trucks.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev assured his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday that Russian regular forces "will begin withdrawing" from today.