Exiled former Georgian presidentMikheil Saakashvili and hundreds of his supporters forced entry into Ukraine from Poland yesterday in an attempt by the firebrand politician to reclaim his citizenship stripped by President Petro Poroshenko.
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and a crowd of supporters have shoved their way through a line of guards at the Ukrainian border, making good on the politician's vow to return to the land that had stripped him of citizenship.
At present it seems unlikely that Saakashvili, who studied in Ukraine and speaks fluent Ukrainian, will come to power.
Saakashvilisaid he wanted to return to Ukraine to contest Poroshenko's action stripping him of his citizenship while he was out of the country. "We should have democracy in our country and should not have the diktat of the oligarchs". But Saakashvili quit as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Poroshenko of abetting corruption.
He claims to have UNHCR recognition as being "stateless" and wants to challenge his loss of citizenship inside Ukraine.
While waiting for the train together supporters and journalists, the ex-President talked with Georgian reporters about his desire to help Ukraine as well as to return to Georgia.
According to him, the inviolability of the state border is a constitutional principle.
The populist Mr Saakashvili - who ran Georgia for almost a decade after leading its 2003 Rose Revolution, but is on the wanted list of its current authorities - insisted he had "no ambition towards any particular office in Ukraine".
In the wake of the pro-Western revolution in Kiev, he moved to Ukraine in 2015 to work for the country's authorities as governor of the Odessa region on the Black Sea. "There always must be legal responsibility", Poroshenko said in televised remarks on Monday. Saakashvili says the decision was politically motivated.
As of this May, the approval rating of Mr Saakashvili's party, the Movement of New Forces, stood at 1.1 per cent, according to a local pollster. This was savage: the crowd of people running to the border line, clashing with border guards, Saakashvili pushing his way through the line of soldiers and falling into arms of a cheerful crowd.
The stateless Saakashvili had initially meant to travel through the Krakovets border crossing where hundreds of supporters of his Movement of the New Forces party had gathered. "I had none. As such, I can not say that we were friends".
The Ukrainian border guards told Saakashvili in the presence of a group of journalists that he was forbidden to enter for security reasons, noting that the area around the crossing was "mined".
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