Saakashvili, supporters force entry into Ukraine

Anita Tucker
September 12, 2017

Ukrainian citizenship of Saakashvili was taken away by order of President Petro Poroshenko.

M - Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's ex-president and one-time regional governor in Ukraine, has crossed into the country, helped by hundreds of his supporters, BBC reported.

An AFP reporter saw Saakashvili and his supporters enter Ukraine at Poland's Medyka border crossing, pushing aside Ukrainian border guards who had turned him back just hours earlier.

Saakashvili became a Ukrainian citizen in 2015, giving up his Georgian citizenship.

Saakashvili's return to Ukraine carries risks for the former Georgian leader, who is now stateless.

Saakashvili was the third president of Georgia between 2004-2007 and again in 2008-2013.

The ex-Georgian president Saakashvili forced the Ukraine to participate in the elections
Former Georgia leader, now a man without a country, slips into Ukraine

Saakashvili said the decision was politically motivated. "A crime was committed instead", he said.

The interior ministry has said that 11 policemen and five border guards were injured in clashes with Mr Saakashvili's supporters. And it is all the same to me who breaches the state border, whether fighters in the east or politicians in the west.

"I want to say that this is the beginning of my fight", he said, adding that he had a plan to turn Ukraine's economy and politics around and was determined to tour the country.

Saakashvili, a disgraced politician, boarded an Intercity train in Poland to travel to Ukraine's Lvov, but the train was delayed "because of a passenger without a right to enter the territory of Ukraine".

He said Saakashvili should have contested the decree stripping him of citizenship in court if he disagreed with it. According to the State Border Guard Service, 12 National Police fighters and 10 border guards sustained bodily injuries. He then traveled by bus to the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing, where he was allowed to pass through a Polish checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, but then temporarily blocked from reaching the Ukrainian checkpoint by a line of border guards standing arm-in-arm.

His supporters at the border crossing on Sunday claimed he had the ability to deal with Ukraine's corruption, overcome its oligarchy and end Ukraine's three-year eastern border region war with Russian Federation. He is wanted in Georgia on charges related to his political career there, and Tbilisi has asked the Kyiv government to extradite him, but it is not clear whether the request will be honored.

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Other reports by My Hot News

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