Eager Crowds Raise Concerns

Impatient crowds broke through police lines at a square in Georgia's capital ahead of a scheduled speech by President Bush (search) on Tuesday, raising security concerns before the address.

Bush was not at the square when the crowds poured in.

Thousands of people poured onto Freedom Square from surrounding streets after tiring of elaborate security procedures. Rustavi-2 television (search) showed pictures of huge crowds on the square, with barricades toppled and smashed to the ground.

Bush's landmark visit has prompted great enthusiasm among Georgians, who hope the trip will increase pressure on Russia to withdraw two Soviet-era-holdover bases it maintains on Georgian territory and to stop giving support to two separatist regions.

Georgia (search) has an uneasy relationship with Russia (search), its giant neighbor and main energy supplier, and Bush's visit is getting a near-universal welcome.