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Georgia has marked the second anniversary of its 2008 war with Russia over a pair of breakaway regions. People held memorial services early on Sunday, timing them to correspond with the conflict's August 8th, 2008, outbreak.
Candles shaped like Georgia's borders were lit in Gori, one of the cities affected worst by the war with Russia in 2008.
The country's Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, took part in a remembrance ceremony in Tbilisi to honor soldiers killed during the five-day conflict.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said it's his nation's duty to continue what he called "the struggle every day for the liberation of our land."
Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid a surprise visit to one of the breakaway regions on Sunday.
It was his first trip to Abkhazia since Moscow recognized that area, and South Ossetia, as independent states.
He said his country's decision to do so was painful.
Dmitry Medvedev, Russian President, said, "The decision made by Russia later, after the military phase of the conflict, was uneasy, not simple, but time showed it was the correct decision."
Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war in August 2008, when Georgia used military force to retake South Ossetia, a breakaway republic that borders Russia. In response, Moscow sent in soldiers to drive Georgian troops out of the area.
Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states after the conflict ended.
Georgia and the West have condemned Russia's plans for a military presence in Abkhazia, which they consider Georgian territory.