Ukraine Braces for Saakashvili's Possible Return

2017/9/8 23:13:02

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili speaks during a press conference in Warsaw on September 8.

 


By Christopher Miller for RFE/RL, Sep 08, 2017

 

KYIV -- Mikheil Saakashvili, the feisty former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, is gathering forces in Warsaw ahead of an attempt to reenter Ukraine from Poland -- a move that could escalate the showdown between him and his former ally, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

 

Saakashvili, who was granted citizenship by Poroshenko in 2015 to assume the post of Odesa governor only to have the president strip him of the status while out of the country in July, has said he will try to reenter Ukraine through the Krakovets border crossing in the Lviv region on September 10.

 

It appears he will be traveling with an entourage.

 

Polarizing former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, currently head of the opposition Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party in Ukraine's parliament, said on Ukraine's NewsOne channel that she would "personally" join Saakashvili.

 

Mustafa Nayyem, a reformist lawmaker and Poroshenko critic, said that he, too, would walk with him. Many more people -- including European parliament members, activists, and journalists, according to Saakashvili's press service -- are expected to follow along with the group in prearranged buses.

 

A beefed-up border-guard presence is expected to be waiting for them. RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service published video showing barbed-wire fences set up at Krakovets, while the security news site Info Resist posted images taken at the border crossing of what appeared to be a military vehicle hidden by camouflage netting.

 

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https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-georgi ... -for-return/28724787.html

 

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