MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday ordered a halt to Russia's military onslaught against Georgia, but the Tbilisi government reported new attacks and there was a wary international response. "The aggressor has been punished and suffered significant losses," Medvedev said in announcing the move. Russian troops and tanks poured into Georgia on Friday after the Georgian army launched an offensive last week to regain control of South Ossetia, the Moscow-backed region which broke away from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. Russia says the conflict has left more than 2,000 civilians dead, while the United Nations estimates some 100,000 people have been forced from their homes. "I have taken the decision to end the operation to force Georgian authorities into peace," Medvedev told defence chiefs at a meeting on the South Ossetia conflict. "The purpose of the operation has been achieved.... The security of our peacekeeping forces and the civilian population has been restored." The Russian leader, however, insisted that any new Georgian attacks would be "liquidated." Georgia said several villages were bombed after the announcement. Russia's military angrily denied the claim and said Georgian soldiers were still firing at its troops. Russian troops and artillery also moved into Georgia's Mestia region near another separatist province, Abkhazia, in the west of the country, the Secretary of Georgia's National Security Council told AFP. Georgian troops were forced to withdraw from the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia, the only part of the breakaway region it controlled after a separatist offensive, the Interior Ministry said. Before the ceasefire, Russian forces had already struck new blows. Warplanes bombed the city of Gori, Georgia's security council said. The city's central square was hit and a Dutch cameraman and a Georgian journalist were killed, officials said. Russian forces moved briefly into the western city of Senaki on Monday and destroyed a military base, officials said. They also entered Georgia's main Black Sea port of Poti. In a show of defiance to the Russian attacks, 100,000 people packed the main Rustaveli avenue of Tbilisi, where a sea of red-and-white Georgian flags hung above the crowds. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili told a rally that Georgia would quit the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a grouping of former Soviet states, and urged Ukraine to follow suit. Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a total Georgian withdrawal from South Ossetia was the "only way" to end the fighting and that Saakashvili should leave office. "It would be best if he left," Lavrov told a Moscow news conference. "I don't think Russia will feel like talking with Mr. Saakashvili after what he did to our citizens." French President Nicolas Sarkozy went to Moscow Tuesday to push a peace plan and told his Russian counterpart the ceasefire was "good news" but that it had to be implemented. Russia and France agreed on the need for international talks on the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as one of six principles for ending the conflict, Medvedev said after his talks with Sarkozy. A halt to military action and a return of Georgian and Russian troops to their positions before the conflict erupted were also pre-conditions, the two leaders agreed, according to Medvedev. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Medvedev's announcement "is important but it is not enough." He underlined that Western military alliance wants Russia to respect Georgia's territorial integrity, including in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The ambassadors of the 26 NATO nations met the Georgian envoy to the alliance and condemned Russia's "excessive, disproportionate use of force," Scheffer said. He stressed that NATO had not altered its position that Georgia should one day join the alliance.