The US-backed color-revolutionary is now trying to topple the US-backed Poroshenko. Sit back and open the popcorn
The ex-president of Georgia turned Ukrainian opposition leader has called on his supporters to topple the current Ukrainian leader and his “gang.” Earlier, protesters freed the politician from the police van that was taking him in for questioning.
Saakashvili’s supporters broke the rear door of the van he was being transported in. The protesters took Saakashvili to a nearby church, where he addressed the crowd. The opposition leader called on the protesters to take to the infamous Maidan Square and topple incumbent Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko and his “gang.”
“I will lay down my life for Ukraine’s freedom. I want to call on all the Kievans to take to the streets today, to gather in Maidan and start the process of removal of Petro Poroshenko and his gang from Ukraine,” Saakashvili said addressing the crowd.
As the politician finished his anti-government speech, the protesters started marching through the streets of the Ukrainian capital.
After the march, crowds gathered in front of the Ukrainian parliament building, where Saakashvili spoke in front of his supporters. The leader of Ukrainian opposition party ‘Movement of New Forces’ reiterated the call to impeach the Ukrainian president and take to the streets “to continue the peaceful protest.” He also said that the evening rally should gather more people than before, claiming that there were 50,000 at the previous demonstration. In recent months, the opposition leader has been organizing protests in the country, targeting mainly his former friend and ally Petro Poroshenko.
The standoff between the protesters and Ukrainian security forces lasted for several hours, leaving several people injured, before Saakashvili’s forced release. On Tuesday morning, the former Georgian president went on the roof of his apartment building in Kiev and threatened to jump off, while security forces searched his apartment. After the opposition activist was detained, supporters started blocking the nearby streets with tires, stones, bins, and cars to prevent police from taking Saakashvili to a detention facility.
The police van became stuck in the crowd, and protesters smashed the front window. Ukrainian security forces used tear gas and deployed more officers to the site in an attempt to clear the way. The protesters tried to break the police cordon and used what appears to be pepper spray against the officers.
Ukrainian security forces want to question the out-of-favor politician on suspicion of assisting criminals and concealing their criminal activities.
Saakashvili was once a close ally of current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who granted him citizenship and appointed him as governor of Odessa Region in 2015. The friendship did not last long, however, with Saakashvili resigning in November 2016 to create his own political party called ‘Movement of New Forces.’ The governor turned opposition leader accuses the Ukrainian authorities, and Poroshenko in particular, of corruption and “robbing” the country.
Poroshenko personally stripped him of his new citizenship. Since then, the former president of Georgia has organized anti-government rallies in Ukraine, calling for the impeachment of the Ukrainian leader.
His native Georgia is also demanding his extradition on charges of corruption. Kiev has refused to comply with the request, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General.