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Photograph of protesters outside the Russian Consulate in Manhattan yesterday by Jason DeCrow/AP

Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili signed a cease-fire that requires Russian military to withdraw from Georgia. U.S. Secretary Condoleezza Rice, who is in Georgia's capital of Tbilisi, told reporters, "Our most urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia."

While, per CNN, the "agreement includes a provision for independent monitors and an eventual reconstruction plan for Georgia's economy," this cease-fire does not settle what will happen with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two separatist provinces that Russia backs. The conflict began last week, when Goergia tried to secure South Ossetia.Saakashvili also accused NATO of encouraging the Russia to build up its military.

2008_08_saaaksh.jpgEarlier today, President Bush spoke about the situation in Georgia, "The United States and our allies stand with the people of Georgia and their democratically elected government. Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory." The U.S.'s relations with Russia are being tested right now--the Daily News calls it the new Cold War.

Interesting fact: Saakashvili studied law at Columbia University. In a NY Times article for this weekend, he is described as a "star student." Professor Lori Damrosch says she stayed in touch with him, learning he was going to work for Eduard Shevardnadze, “Then, the next thing I know is he had overthrown Shevardnadze.”