What a Day! Saakashvili Threatens to Jump, Gets Arrested Instead, Freed Hours Later

Violent riots broke out in Kiev today. Supporters of Mikhail Saakashvili, the head of the "Movement of New Forces" and ex-President of Georgia, blocked several streets with barricades. Now they are holding a mass-meeting near the Verkhovna Rada.

In the morning special forces operatives from the NSA broke into Saakashvili's home to detain him on suspicion of assisting criminal organizations. Saakashvili climbed onto the roof of his eight-story building and threatened to jump off. But he didn't do it. And when he was finally arrested, his supporters won their leader back from the special services.

 

Ilya Filippov on how this has changed the political situation in Ukraine. He was officially considered a detainee. It remained only to take him to the detention center. But the special bus was opened with bare hands. The policemen sprayed gas into the crowd, but they are outnumbered, and Saakashvili's was set free. And before anything else, he grabs a megaphone.

Mikhail Saakashvili: "This peaceful protest for getting rid of Poroshenko and his gang…"

On his wrist, there's still an opened handcuff bracelet and on the neck, he wears the Ukrainian flag. Filling the streets, the crowd moves on the Maidan. A traditional route — down the Hrushevsky Street to the Rada. There are tents, a stage, and a warm welcome.

Now it's too early to say whether it was a spontaneous decision to free Saakashvili, or if it was planned. The main thing is they did it. Three hours before that, there were other options: either Mikhail Saakashvili would spend five years in jail in Kiev or he would be deported to Georgia, where he would be imprisoned for an even longer term.

The leader of the "Movement of New Forces" fled from the NSA special operatives to the roof of the house, from which he tried to express his disdain for Poroshenko's shortcomings.

Mikhail Saakashvili: "Poroshenko is a thief. Poroshenko is a traitor to the people of Ukraine".

From the crowd: "Misha, we're with you!"

The first act of the costume show in Kiev began in the morning. Special forces operatives filled all the stairwells in front of Saakashvili's apartment. The masked fighters did not let in a lawyer or supporters:

- Let me see your documents!

- The deputy showed his documents, and you can't!

- Who are you? That’s outrageous!

The noise was in front of the door, beyond which there was no one. Saakashvili was already on the roof with a bottle of water.

Mikhail Saakashvili: "They're in league with the enemies of Ukraine!"

Down below, there were more and more protestants. One of them poured gasoline over himself, standing over a signboard "Burning Tours". However, they didn't let him set himself on fire.

The special forces of the NSA stormed the apartment and got to the roof. Saakashvili did not jump, and he couldn't run away from ten fighters. Over the jeering of the crowd, he was pushed into a bus.

Meanwhile, the apartment of the leader of the "New Forces Movement" was searched. Apartments of other activists of the movement were also searched. Soon, Ukraine's Prosecutor General said that in the apartments of Siverion Dangadze, a companion of Saakashvili, there was found a Ukrainian passport in the name of Mikhail Saakashvili. The one that was allegedly stolen by the Lvov police from a bus.

As a result, it turned out that Saakashvili was detained for just two hours. It was exactly the time that the policemen managed to restrain the crowd besieging the bus. Barricades were already built around them. The crowd pressed. The scuffles began.

On the street, there's a mass-meeting in support of Saakashvili and for the impeachment of Poroshenko. Inside the Rada leader of the Fatherland, Yulia Tymoshenko heatedly misspoke.

Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of Fatherland: "In a free European, democratic Ukraine after two revolutions, after many repressions, in front of the civilized World, nobody has the right to dispense punishment on the president of Georgia, and the punishment is still taking place, it's impossible to call it something else. They broke into his house, they kept him away from his lawyers, deputies they forced the president of Ukraine to go out on the roof of the house. Sorry, the president of Georgia. Though it would be nice if he was the president of Ukraine."

Maidan is overcrowded again. This time by people who support the leader of the "Rose Revolution" in Tbilisi 14 years ago. He wants to go it 'till the end. And again, people are breaking the paving stones on the square.

Ilya Filippov, Anna Kolum, Dmitriy Khrustalev, Vesti

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