Ex-Georgian president Saakashvili arrested in Ukraine

Michele Moreno
December 10, 2017

Mikheil Saakashvili was reportedly detained by the Ukrainian security forces last night, the Ukrainian media said.

But the protests are spearheaded by former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, a man of preternatural energy and self-assurance who has already overthrown one regime.

Television footage showed a large number of police in riot gear outside the centre and a few dozen protesters, but the situation appeared relatively calm. After he was freed, he urged the crowd to impeach Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, a former ally.

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 rejected the accusations and said there has always been hostility between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The saga threatens to embarrass the pro-Western authorities at a time when they face a chorus of criticism from reformers and foreign donors over perceived backtracking on reforms and attacks on anti-corruption institutions.

"I had a constructive and open discussion with President Poroshenko on Ukraine's efforts to fight corruption", Lagarde said in a statement.

Two protesters and 11 officers were injured in Wednesday's scuffles in Kiev, police said.

The arrest attempt and a police raid on a small supporter tent encampment raised concerns that Ukraine is facing its worst political crisis since the 2014 protests that drove the pro-Russia president out of the country. Less than 2 percent of voters would back his party in elections, according to a recent survey. His backers see him as a fearless crusader against corruption but critics have said that there is little substance behind his rhetoric.

Other reports by Insurance News

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