BREAKING: Russia Invades Georgia.

UPDATE: An inquiry is out with the White House about what President Bush’s response will be to this invasion of an American ally. Note that it’s 10:30 PM in Beijing, so this may take some time to get.

Putin Says ‘War Has Started,’ Georgia Claims Invasion (Update1)

By Henry Meyer and Ryan Chilcote

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said “war has started” in the breakaway region of South Ossetia while Georgia accused Russia of “a well-planned invasion” and appealed to world leaders for help.

Russian “volunteers” are pouring over the border to help defend South Ossetia from Georgian forces, Putin told U.S. President George W. Bush in Beijing today, according to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russia of “full-blown military aggression” after civilians died in aerial bombings and wide-spread fighting in and around the disputed region. The country of 4.6 million people is fighting “to secure its borders,” Saakashvili told Bloomberg Television.

More as we get it.

UPDATE: Georgia is, by the way and with our support, trying to join NATO (more here). There’s also resource – read: “oil” – issues involved.