nsucurrent.com March 24, 2018

Ukraine police recapture ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili

09 December 2017, 10:38 | Colleen Roy

Rowing row After posing with a paddle and the words'row the f*** away scrawled over her body she started fighting with security guards in the tent city

Rowing row After posing with a paddle and the words'row the f*** away scrawled over her body she started fighting with security guards in the tent city

Saakashvili - the former Georgian president who became governor of Ukraine's Odesa region in 2015 but quit a year later and is now a vocal opponent of President Petro Poroshenko - thanked backers for their support in the tumult of recent days.

Saakashvili's recapture follows a surreal game of hide-and-seek that saw him clamber on a roof to avoid law enforcement, before being broken out of a police van by protesters amid clashes with hundreds of riot police on Tuesday.

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.

A few hours before he was detained, Mr. Saakashvili had called for weekend protests against Mr. Poroshenko in Independence Square, an area in Kiev known as Maidan that was the center of the earlier demonstrations against Mr. Yanukovych.

Saakashvili's extraordinary energy and strong charisma took him to the forefront of the 2003 Rose Revolution that forced out the government in his native Georgia.

Mr Saakashvili has been leading anti-corruption rallies against Mr Poroshenko.

Mr Saakashvili also faces the threat of extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on corruption charges.

His detention was the latest twist in a prolonged feud between the Ukrainian authorities and Saakashvili, who has turned on his one-time patron Poroshenko, accusing him of corruption and calling for his removal from office.

"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.

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