Saakashvili aims to topple Ukraine's 'oligarchy' after dramatic return

Saakashvili aims to topple Ukraine's 'oligarchy' after dramatic return

The former Georgian president was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in July after falling out with Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, who in 2015 appointed Saakashvili as the governor of the Odessa region.

To the cry of "Misha, Misha, Misha", the army of Saakashvili's supporters (according to reporters on the ground, majority were activists of Saakashvili's party) viciously broke through the live cordon, violating the border, to bring Mikheil Saakashvili into the country while singing Ukrainian anthem.

Saakashvili meant to return to Ukraine despite being stripped of Ukrainian citizenship by his one-time ally, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and being threatened with arrest and extradition if he sets foot on Ukrainian soil.

"Why is President Poroshenko so afraid of me", Saakashvili told reporters before breaking through to Ukraine.

An AFP reporter saw the one-time regional Ukraine governor and his supporters enter from Poland's Medyka border crossing, pushing aside Ukrainian border guards who had turned him back just hours earlier. "A crime was committed instead", he said.

But in accepting Ukrainian citizenship, he surrendered his Georgian citizenship.

Mr Saakashvili has denied the accusations, branding them a political witch hunt.

But he praised the Ukrainian border guards and National Guard members for not using violence.


"Fighting for power, Saakashvili's supporters are destroying the state..."

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says that Mikheil Saakashvili should fill the form of the border-crossing fact at the Shehyini checkpoint or immigration service.

Mikheil Saakashvili said on Monday he was not seeking the presidency for himself, but wanted to see Poroshenko ousted at the next election in 2019.

Ukrainian law enforcement agencies said Sahakashvili and his supporters face a possible 5 year prison term.

Also with Saakashvili was Mustafa Nayyem, who was active in protests in Ukraine in 2013-14 that drove then pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych, out of the country. He has the full right to return to Ukraine, where he was illegally stripped of his citizenship.

The president said Saakashvili should have used Ukrainian courts to challenge the revocation. 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.

Prosecutor-General Yury Lutsenko said late on September 10 that charges would be pursued against the people who helped organize Saakashvili's entry.

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