Mikheil Saakashvili has had close ties with Ukraine since the 1990s. In fact, he attended university in the Ukrainian capital. During the most difficult times for Ukraine, he has expressed his support and helped Ukraine in various ways. And currently, finding himself in prison, Saakashvili underlines that he wants to “directly participate in the struggle” for the freedom of Ukraine.

Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia and a citizen of Ukraine, has decided to leave Georgian politics due to bad health. This was reported by his lawyer, Valery Gelbakhiani, in an interview with Georgian opposition TV channel Imedi on July 30. According to the lawyer, Saakashvili is leaving politics completely, and not just the National Movement.

A reminder that Mikheil Saakashvili has been behind bars since his secret return to Georgia on the eve of the 2021 local elections. He later went on hunger strike, insisting that he had been imprisoned on political charges. His lawyers insist that as a result of this and poor conditions in jail, Saakashvili he developed serious diseases. Therefore, he needs treatment abroad. Subsequently, the third president of Georgia was temporarily transferred to a prison hospital, and then to a military hospital in Gori, and he was returned to a prison in Rustavi in December 2021.

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He wrote a letter from prison to the Ukrainian people on August 16.

“I am in captivity, imprisoned in Georgia, but my heart is in Ukraine. My health is undermined, but I want my fellow Ukrainian citizens to know that I am supported spiritually and physically by the heroism of our soldiers, the unity of the people, the leadership of President Zelensky, the support of the entire Ukrainian world, and my own boundless faith in victory. I want freedom for Ukraine and I want to directly participate in the struggle and I am sure that Ukrainians will not abandon their people and will remember me,” Saakashvili wrote in his letter, which was published on his Facebook page.

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Mikheil Saakashvili has close ties with Ukraine. After all, in 1992 he graduated with honors from the Faculty of International Law of the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.

During the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, he supported Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of the Our Ukraine party. And on January 1, 2005, he appeared on the Maidan stage in Kyiv.

During Euromaidan in 2013-14, Saakashvili also came to Kyiv on two occasions and spoke from the stage. And deputies of the Georgian Parliament from the United National Movement party lived in tents on Khreshchatyk that housed protesters. In addition, during a meeting with the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret Saakashvili, he said that “the time will come when historians will write that the Russian Empire ceased to exist on the Maidan in Kyiv. And it will be so. The people will definitely win, and I believe that there will be a better fate and a future that will unite all peoples.”

Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship on May 29, 2015. And the next day, May 30, he was presented as the new head of Odesa Regional State Administration .

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Saakashvili began his work in his new position by dismissing 24 heads of districts in Odesa Region. Several high-profile arrests of corrupt persons were made later, and six departments of Odesa Regional State Administration were dissolved.

His priorities included cleaning up the road repair sector, so he immediately canceled the results of tenders for road works due to suspected corruption. He initiated a project of joint financing of roads: in addition to state and regional funds, money from the Customs Service was supposed to go to the roads. However, when Arseniy Yatsenyuk was prime minister in the aftermath of Maidan, the Odesa customs office received new income plans, which made it impossible to acquire sufficient funding for roads.

However, due to the fact that the Administrative Services Center in Odesa was closed on November 2, 2016, by a decision adopted by Parliament and approved by President Petro Poroshenko, Saakashvili resigned from his post. At the same time, he accused Poroshenko of supporting corrupt officials who were undermining Saakashvili’s efforts to reform Odesa.

Saakashvili was deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship on July 26, 2017, on the basis of allegedly giving false information in the application form. However, on May 28, 2019, President Volodymyr Zelensky returned Mikheil’s citizenship.

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Saakashvili was subsequently appointed head of the executive committee of National Council of rReforms by a decree issued by President Zelensky.

Saakashvili announced on September 27, 2021, that he would be returning to Georgia. He was detained just a few days later and transferred to a penitentiary. The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs open a criminal case against Saakashvili on the fact of crossing the border illegally.

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