UPDATED: Ukrainian Opposition Leader Mikheil Saakashvili Deported
12 February, 2018

Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili has been deported to Poland.

The Polish border service confirmed his arrival in the country.

Representatives of the State Border Guard Service, Migration Service and National Police today served the leader of the Movement of New Forces party with papers ordering him to “return to the country of his previous stay.”

They approached Saakashvili in Kyiv around 3 p.m. today, in an incident which escalated to the camouflaged men, bearing arms, pushing the political leader to the ground.  

A video of the incident was posted to the ex-Georgian President’s Facebook page and circulated by his allies on social media.

He was then taken to Boryspil airport and flown to Warsaw.

According to a post on his official Facebook page, Saakashvili, speaking from Warsaw,  accused Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili of wanting to get rid of him. 

Last week Saakashvili lost his appeal for protection against extradition in a Ukrainian court. His lawyer warned the ruling meant the leader of the Movement of New Forces could be facing deportation.

Kyiv Prosecutor's Office earlier today said Saakashvili was expected to come in for questioning but did not attend the appointment.

Having been stripped of both Georgian and Ukrainian citizenship, Saakashvili is now stateless.

He lost his Georgian citizenship in 2015, when he accepted the position of Odessa Governor and a Ukrainian passport from his then-ally Poroshenko.

The relationship between the two however turned sour after Saakashvili quit his post in late 2016, accusing Poroshenko and other officials of hampering anti-corruption efforts.

He was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship last year while he was out of the country but broke through the Polish-Ukrainian border with the help of his supporters.

He has been calling for Poroshenko’s resignation, staging several rallies against the current government.

The ex-regional governor is also facing accusations of receiving funding from a “criminal group” tied to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Saakashvili says the charges are politically motivated.

/By Natalie Vikhrov