Supporters of Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili managed to forcely get the politician out of a police car when he was arrested in a Kyiv apartment building earlier today. The car was blocked on the street after hundreds of Saakashvili supporters surrounded the car to prevent his arrest.
“They don’t know who they are dealing with. I was born to gain victory together with the Georgian and Ukrainian people,” Saakashvili said after he was out of the police car.
Saakashvili called on his supporters to gather in front of the Parliament building in Ukraine to rally to impeach Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, a political rival.
“The most important is the following: Don’t be afraid of anything. They will never force Ukraine to its knees, ‘drug dealers’ won’t ever force Ukrainians to their knees. They put handcuffs on me today because they wanted to force me to my knees, but I told them that Saakashvili will never get on his knees!” Saakashvili said at the rally outside the parliament.
The US Embassy in Ukraine has issued an official statement calling on both sides to avoid any form of violence:
Saakashvili’s supporters in Georgia are planning a demonstration in Tbilisi tomorrow at 14:00 in solidarity with the politician, United National Movement chairman Nika Melia announced at a special briefing today.
General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko said at a special briefing this afternoon that Ukrainian law enforcement authorities have successfully managed to foil plans to arrange a “Russian winter” in Kyiv and has accused Saakashvili of organizing demonstrations with Russian money. Saakashvili has denied the allegations.
“This is just one part of the plan. I can announce today that it will be continued. Other well-known Ukrainian politicians are involved in this and in a more dangerous game too,” Lutsenko said.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine said a few hours later that they have audio-video recordings proving financial deals between Saakashvili and Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko involving Russian federal security authorities. The General Prosecutor claims that Saakashvili received 500,000 USD from the deal.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine then published the audio recording of the alleged conversation between Saakashvili and Kurchenko.
In the recording, an individual’s voice similar to Kurchenko’s says the following:
“I have business interests in Ukraine and I have financial resources. Moreover, the opportunity to enter in different cabinets in Russia. I’m interested in creating a sort of a long history with you. Is such a kind of turn-of-events possible?”
A second voice similar to Saakashvili’s responds: “I think you have to discuss this matter with our friend. This is a separate talk and we need to discuss that with him.” The two sides are then heard agreeing to contact each other later.
The full audio recording can be found here:
For more information about Saakashvili’s detention in Ukraine follow here.