As night fell in Tbilisi, Georgia, President Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the nation calling Russia's recognition of two Georgian rebel territories illegal.
SOUNDBITE: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, saying (Georgian):
"This decision is completely illegal and has no legal basis and consequences,"
On the streets of Tbilisi more than 100 protesters gathered outside the Russian embassy to rally against Russia's unilateral decision to recognize the territories' independence.
The West had strongly urged Moscow not to recognize the regions and to support Georgia's territorial integrity.
Russia said it had no choice.
Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin:
SOUNDBITE: Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, saying (English):
"Saakashvili left them with no other choice, but to insure their security and the right to exist through self determination as an independent state."
Georgia and Russia fought a brief war over the breakaway region of South Ossetia earlier this month after Georgia sent in troops to try to retake the province by force. Russia responded with a massive counter-attack by land, sea and air.