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Former Georgian leader Saakashvili breaks border blockade to enter Ukraine

Former Georgian leader Saakashvili breaks border blockade to enter Ukraine

Former Georgian leader Saakashvili breaks border blockade to enter Ukraine

Georgia's former president, who later served as governor of Ukraine's Odessa region, has pledged to unite the opposition against his former ally and job-giver Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Saakashvili crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border on September 10, with the help of his Ukrainian supporters, as he was denied to enter the country due to his allegedly invalid documents. He also accepted Ukrainian citizenship, and in the process renounced his Georgian citizenship.

However, the two men fell out, and Saakashvili resigned in November 2016, blaming Poroshenko for corruption in the country and stating that he meant to form his own political movement.

Saakashvili was born in Georgia and was president of the country from 2004 to 2013. The woman in charge of the Ukrainian train said she had been ordered by the authorities - she declined to specify whether Polish or Ukrainian - to stop the train leaving until Saakashvili got off.

"A crime has been committed", Mr Poroshenko said earlier on Monday.

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According to Ukrainian authorities, 11 police officers and five border guards received minor injuries during clashes with Saakashvili's supporters. And it is all the same to me who breaches the state border, whether fighters in the east or politicians in the west.

Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to stay in Ukraine to try to oust its "oligarchic" political elite, a day after forcing his way back into the country in what its president called a criminal act that must be punished. "I demand to be let into my Ukraine", he said.

At that point hundreds of his supporters chanting "Misha, Misha" - a diminutive of his name - forced their way into Ukraine with Saakashvili, who now risks extradition to his native Georgia. According to him, he left his Ukrainian passport in a bus on the border with Ukraine, but then "the police came and stole it".

Saakashvili divides opinion. Supporters see him as a fearless crusader against corruption but critics say there is little substance behind his blustery rhetoric. He then traveled by bus to the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing, where he was allowed to pass through a Polish checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, but then temporarily blocked from reaching the Ukrainian checkpoint by a line of border guards standing arm-in-arm.

Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his citizenship in July amid a dramatic falling out.

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