Yesterday, the Duran reported that Mikhail Saakashvili successfully entered Ukraine after he and his entourage literally pushed and shoved their way past border guards who were intent on keeping him out.
Now that he is in western Ukraine where he has been greeted by a group of visibly enthusiastic supporters, something unusual has happened. For the first time in many years, Mikhail Saakashvili is finding himself in a position of potential popularity.
Saakashvili’s political antics over the last several years have been more of a matter of some trial and lots of error for the disgraced former Georgian leader whom both the Russian Federation and European Union found to have waged an aggressive war against civilians in 2008.
As The Duran reported yesterday,
“Saakashvili is probably best remembered for instigating a war of aggression against the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008. Both Russia and the European Union found that Saakashvili was an aggressor in the short conflict.After fleeing prosecutors in Georgia, the weakened strongman was appointed the Governor of the multi-cultural and traditionally Russian city of Odessa in 2015. This however did not last long as he left office in 2016, before being stripped of Ukrainian citizenship in the summer of 2017″.
When the leader of the Kiev regime, Petro Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship this summer, Poroshenko likely felt that he was getting rid of a small but nagging problem of an unpopular and little discussed potential future rival who in any case, was well past his prime.
In respect of the bizarre dynamic between Poroshenko and Saakashvili, I wrote the following in The Duran,
“Saakashvilli is a corrupt opportunist who ran to the power base of a second corrupt opportunist, Poroshenko. Then that second corrupt opportunist fired and deprived citizenship of the first corrupt opportunist under the guise that the first corrupt opportunist was a corrupt opportunist, who then took to calling the second corrupt opportunist a corrupt opportunist.
This literally is the farce that is post-coup Ukrainian politics”
While the key element of Poroshenko’s decision to deprive Saakashvili of statehood was the proximate timing to Poroshenko’s visit to Georgia where the former leader is sought on corruption and fraud charges, Poroshenko didn’t need one more headache from a potential rival, unpopular though Saakashvili was at the time.
While Saakashvili’s ‘great
escape entry’, did have a comical element to it, there is, by Ukrainian standards, a serious side.
Saakashvili is keen to paint himself as a heroic freedom fighter, perhaps even a ‘democracy activist’ who has been on the receiving end of an unjust and possibly illegal deal by a corrupt regime (that part is objectively true) which has made an individual stateless through a wanton action (something which many experts claim is illegal).
Beyond this, the arch-opportunist and former Kiev Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has endeared herself to Saakashvili’s cause. Tymoshenko is widely perceived, even among her comrades on the extreme-right, as someone who will say and do anything to get closer to power. The fact that she has thus far played no role in the Poroshenko regime, has made her feel shafted and she’s now betting on Saakashvili helping to whisk her back to the limelight which she so clearly craves.
With police in western Ukraine now claiming that they have opened criminal proceedings against Saakashvili for his border stunt, it is becoming ever more likely that a man who was largely forgotten and ignored, might be an unlikely candidate to shed light on the corrupt and habitually duplicitous nature of the Kiev regime, even though Saakashvili’s differences with Kiev are largely cosmetic and personal. In terms of policy, both Poroshenko and Saakashvili have a history of committing war-crimes, destroying economic relations with Russia, overseeing largely ineffective regimes whose popularity wanes rapidly and stealing state-treasure for personal gain. That being said, if one was forced to choose, it must be said that between Poroshenko and Saakashvili, the latter is more of a smooth political operator than the former. That being said, the bar has been set incredibly low.
In this sense, Poroshenko in depriving Saakashvili of citizenship, has created a headache for himself.
In a just world, those opposed to war, racism, political censorship, economic collapse, corruption and state depravity would be the ones to bring down the Poroshenko regime. But in the real world, as Ataturk once said, “They go as they come”.
There would be no more fitting end to the Poroshenko regime than for Saakashvili to rally support against it. Meet the new boos, same as the old boss–in more ways than one.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.