Saakashvili breaks through Ukrainian border in violent clashes
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Ukrainian state official who was denied his
citizenship in July, led a daylong political theatre in which he broke through the
Ukrainian border illegally on Sept. 10 with the help of dozens of supporters and
provocateurs. The violent clashes resulted in injuries to five border guards and 11
police officers. This morning, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov called upon Saakashvili to
report to the Shehyni border point or a local office of the Migration Service. Criminal
charges have been filed for engaging in an illegal swarming of people across the border,
Avakov said on his Facebook page, warning that his accomplices would also be criminally
Although hinting that he would cross at Poland’s Korczowa-Krakovets border point,
Saakashvili’s first real attempt to enter Ukraine was by riding a train from the Polish
city of Przemysl to the Ukrainian city of Lviv. Confirming the crossing had been
rehearsed, dozens of tickets were purchased ahead of time by his team of supporters.
However, Ukrainian authorities canceled the train. Afterwards, Saakashvili went directly
to the Medyka-Shehyni border point, where he thrust past border guards in a crowd of
dozens of supporters without submitting his passport for review.
Zenon Zawada: Saakashvili’s
political spectacle yesterday marks the beginning of the 2019 presidential and
parliamentary election campaign. A pro-Western opposition is shaping up to oppose
Poroshenko’s re-election bid, led by Saakashvili and Tymoshenko. While Saakashvili is not
qualified to run for president or parliament, he has the ability to organize and lead the
activity of his political party, The Movement of New Forces, which can work in tandem
with other pro-EU parties opposed to the Poroshenko administration.
Saakashvili plans to cooperate politically with Tymoshenko since she was at his
side for most of the day’s theatrics, with began with an on camera lunch in the city of
Rzeszow. When Saakashvili emerged in Lviv for an evening press briefing, he was not only
accompanied by Tymoshenko but also Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, who was targeted for political
persecution by the Poroshenko administration. Sadovyi leads the Self-Reliance party,
which can form a coalition with Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party and Saakashvili’s party
after the 2019 elections.
Saakashvili is drawing support from U.S. intelligence services, which have grown tired of
Poroshenko’s corruption. With Saakashvili’s help, they are cobbling together a coalition
of MPs willing to pursue reforms a lot farther and quicker than Poroshenko and his team,
who have demonstrated much resistance. It’s worth noting that Saakashvili’s agitators
were clearly part of an organized effort and had received training.
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