Mikheil Saakashvili, Ex-President of Georgia, Arrested in Ukraine, Again

Lucy Bush
December 9, 2017

A large crowd of his supporters then pulled him from a police vehicle.

The arrest boosted rising tensions in a country that has already been shaken by massive protest uprisings twice in this century.

Saaksahvili became a regional governor in Ukraine at Poroshenko's invitation, But he later turned on his one-time patron, accusing the Ukrainian leader of corruption.

Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by Poroshenko in July while overseas and is now stateless.

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But he stepped down in 2016, complaining that Poroshenko himself had undermined his efforts.

Before moving to Ukraine, Mr Saakashvili served for nearly 10 years as president of Georgia.

Ukrainian authorities this week have faced accusations of deliberately sabotaging anti-corruption reforms, which are a key condition for worldwide support for the country as it grapples with a Russian-backed separatist insurgency. Although his support appeared to be comparatively small, he was able to gather several thousand people for a protest march last week.

On Tuesday, he was dragged from his home in Kiev and arrested.

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"Saakashvili will be detained and the best thing he could do, if he were a man, if he really loved Ukraine even a little, would be to come today to Volodymyrska Street (security service headquarters) to testify to investigators", he told parliament.

Poroshenko was asked about the current furore surrounding former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili after Ukrainian law enforcement officials twice failed to detain him this week on charges of aiding a criminal organisation.

Law enforcement officers searched Saakashvili's apartment in Kyiv on December 5, dragged him off the roof, and bundled him into a vehicle.

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