Former Georgia leader, now a man without a country, slips into Ukraine

12 September, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Evan Mason
  • The ex-Georgian president Saakashvili forced the Ukraine to participate in the elections

Saakashvili, who was president of Georgia until 2013, acquired Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 but was stripped of that in July after a bitter falling out with his former ally, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and former governor of Ukraine's Odessa region, was pushed through a Polish-Ukrainian border in Ukraine on Sunday, September 10.

The people broke through a cordon placed by Ukrainian border guards and police, and then they closely surrounded Saakashvili and Ukrainian politicians and public figures accompanying him and have "carried" them into the territory of Ukraine, he said.

However, the two men fell out, and Saakashvili resigned in November 2016, blaming Poroshenko for corruption in the country and stating that he meant to form his own political movement.

Georgia has pursued Saakashvili on criminal charges of abuse of power and misappropriation of property.

Ukrainian officials say he entered illegally, and 16 border guards and National guardsmen were injured. According to Groysman, Saakashvili committed an "attack on Ukrainian statehood".

Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to stay in Ukraine to try to oust its "oligarchic" political elite, a day after forcing his way back into the country in what its president called a criminal act that must be punished.

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Saakashvili had planned on taking an afternoon train from the southeastern Polish city of Przemyśl to Kyiv, but an onboard announcement said the train would not leave the station while carrying "a person who is not allowed entry to Ukraine".

"I have a clear plan: to end theft from the economy; to end the power of the oligarchy; to end misuse of power", Mr Saakashvili said. "There always must be legal responsibility", Poroshenko said in televised remarks on Monday.

The Ukrainian border guards told Saakashvili in the presence of a group of journalists that he was forbidden to enter for security reasons, noting that the area around the crossing was "mined".

Saakashvili had meant to travel through another crossing point, where hundreds of supporters had gathered on the Ukrainian side.

Saakashvili, who has been overseas since mid-July, refused to accept the loss of his Ukrainian citizenship, saying he would return to Ukraine to continue his political career.

He says Georgia's extradition request was driven by "oligarchs" who fear his presence in Ukraine, where he fought corruption.

Saakashvili and his entourage eventually got off the train and took buses to the Medyka crossing, where Polish guards let him through.

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