Minus Mike. Behind the scenes high-profile arrest Saakashvili
In the afternoon of 12 February, the leader of the “movement of new forces” and the ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili accompanied by several burly security guards went to the Georgian restaurant “Suluguni” in Museum street in Central Kiev. He often went there because of the proximity to the party office and familiar with Georgian cuisine.
In the restaurant at a table on the second floor he was met associates – assistant Tatiana Baranovskaya, Bendukidze founder of the Free Market Center Vladimir Fedorin, and strategist Sergei Gaidai. Ordered tea, meats Georgian cheese, the food and began to discuss the film “Ukraine, which succeeded”. The main role – the former Georgian President.
“At some point, he (Saakashvili – ed.) said that no one needs what he is doing in Ukraine. He tries, tries, but no result. We he just said, well, you can’t help it,” says hayday. He recalls: during a call, the politician said that he felt, in Ukraine, it will be a maximum of ten days, say, the government will try to deport him from the country.
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The discussion was interrupted by shouts and the tramp of feet on the ground floor. 14 people in the form of special troops of the State border service stormed the restaurant.
“Just came by, laid his guard. Scared people,” says owner Andrew zadorozhnyi.
“Lie! Bitch, BL*th!”–shouted one of the intruders towards Saakashvili. He managed to pop up from the table and rushed towards the kitchen, along the way asking where the back door but found it did not. Two uniforms knocked on the floor policy, and later taken out of the restaurant, biting into the stands next to the bus which headed to the airport “Borispol”.
“Everything was like something from a bad Russian film about gangsters with the Mat, but the stripes have written “reigning prikordonna service of Ukraine”, – says the Embassy.
It all happened so quickly that nobody had time to pay for lunch.
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Mikhail Saakashvili in the Netherlands issued an ID card that allows him to legally live and work in the EU. Questions from officials, it has not arisen. The whole process took only a few minutes, he wrote. At the same time, Saakashvili said that he was going to regain Ukrainian citizenship.
The fact that the next visit of Saakashvili in Ukraine to end, few people knew, but the chance to have a quiet life policy in the country. Above it hung a few cases – the cases about the illegal crossing the borders and on granting political asylum and requests for extradition from Georgia, who received Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office. In addition to this, on 5 February the Kyiv appeal administrative court upheld the refusal of the State migration service to provide the President a status of refugee or person who needs complementary protection.
Then one of the defenders of Saakashvili, Ruslan Chernolutsky, stated that this decision gives the “many reasons” to implement plans for “possible illegal removal of Saakashvili from the country and possible illegal extradition.”
These grounds have been looking for President Petro Poroshenko. In conversations with people from the inner circle, he did not hide their desire to send Saakashvili from Ukraine.
“Poroshenko never wanted to send Saakashvili to Georgia, didn’t want to be the person who put him in jail,” says one of the supporters of the President, adding that “we are hard-pressed Americans” in addressing the issue of the ex-President of Georgia.
The border guards and the Migration service of the state that has not organized a Charter for Saakashvili
The authorities have been a few relatively painless ways to get rid of a former ally. In late December, the then foreign Minister of the Netherlands Halbe Zijlstra said that his country is ready to accept Saakashvili if he leaves Ukraine. The basis for this proposal was the Dutch citizenship of the wife of a politician.
Saakashvili then the final “Yes,” he said. Instead, December 16, through one of the European ambassadors gave Poroshenko a letter in which has urged to sit down at the negotiating table and not to aggravate the conflict. According to Dnia in the presidential Administration the letter was going to respond and even prepared a text, but changed his mind after 17 December, Saakashvili said unexpectedly that with the power to negotiate is not going to.
Question – what to do with uncontrollable politician – shared environment Poroshenko on several camps. Someone like Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko or the first Deputy head of the faction PPO Igor Kononenko, believed that Saakashvili is better not to touch, say, with these ratings he’s not rocking, and any action the authorities will play into his hands. Someone like the Minister of internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, believed that “on the**th of the country, but not in Georgia.”
“I choked the whole way,” Saakashvili told the details of his expulsion from Ukraine
However, the opinion was involved in this matter were hardly taken into account. It was his interlocutors Dnia the President was accused of the situation with Saakashvili. They say that Avakov’s fault that his staff – the guards – had not kept breaking through the boundaries and that the police allowed the protesters to put up tents near Parliament, on the Grushevsky street in Kiev. On the day when Saakashvili was expelled from the country, Avakov, the country has not turned out – he was on a business trip in South Korea.
The decision of the court of 5 February formally gave the government the ability to send Saakashvili at the readmission procedure in the country where he came from, Poland. The Polish Embassy in advance the request was submitted with the request. The obvious benefit of this option for the Ukrainian authorities was the fact that the border guards of the countries that have adopted the person according to this procedure, have no right to release him back to the country from which he came. That is, is conceived Saakashvili again to break through the border, he would have had to do this twice – first Polish and then Ukrainian. In the European Union such actions cost bi policy expensive.
According to two interlocutors from the inner circle to Poroshenko, the operation took on the Secretary of the national security Council and defense Oleksandr Turchynov. By the time Poroshenko allegedly did not trust the SBU, which failed one detention of Saakashvili, and Avakov. Press Secretary Turchynov its possible involvement in this operation is called confabulation, and said that among the powers of the NSDC Secretary such issues are not included.
Most supporters of Poroshenko claim that he learned about the arrest of Saakashvili after the fact: Lutsenko – from his press Secretary, Avakov read the news, while in South Korea.
Realizing that publicity can not be avoided, the most important task of government was to do everything quickly and not allow the supporters of the policy to recapture. The plan worked – the support group, Saakashvili was disoriented – part went to the airport “Borispol” part – of “Kiev”.
In “Borispol” Saakashvili was waiting for the Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A, tail number SP-RDW. Board with Polish registration owned airlines Jet Story. In Ukraine to organize this flight helped the Ukrainian company Sky Handling, and the cost of flights were $8.5 million Who paid for the plane and made a request to the flights – not sure.
The plane took off from Kiev at 16:33 and after a couple of hours at the airport in Warsaw Saakashvili in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian journalists called Poroshenko “cheap breeder” and “huckster”.
In Ukraine around the same time the leader of the party “civic position” Anatoly Gritsenko began to ring up the opposition with a proposal the next day to meet at the office of the former MP and leader of the “European party” European party of Ukraine, in the street Gogol in the center of Kiev, and to discuss the situation.
February 13, responding to the call Gritsenko were in for a surprise – the front door of the office where he was scheduled to meet, for some reason, hung a sign “Reception of the people’s Deputy Aleksandra Kuzhel” (fraction “Batkivshchyna” – ed.). It is great surprise arrived, but all went in silence.
Besides Katerynchuk and Hrytsenko, the meeting was attended by the MP Dmitry Dobrodomov, members of the “democratic Alliance” Vasily Gatsko and Mustafa Nayem, MP from “Samopomich” Irina Podolyak, “Svoboda” Andriy Mokhnyk, from the “movement of new forces” was David Sakvarelidze and Chernolutsky, and from the “Fatherland” came Serhiy Vlasenko.
The removal of Saakashvili discussed for a long time, even longer – plans for the future. At first, everyone spoke about the incident. Then what does this mean for all the opposition. Hrytsenko proposed to prepare a General public statement on the political situation in the country in which all were to condemn the actions of the authorities against Saakashvili. None of those present did not object, but also to write a statement in no hurry.
Disputes were caused by the upcoming “March for the future”, Saakashvili is scheduled for February 18. The politician promised during the rally will call their list of candidates to the government and the President of Ukraine.
“So you understand, nobody wanted to be in this list. That will leave he will say – vote for Leshchenko, Mustafa. With his mouth this is how the rating”, – referring to when Saakashvili and Sergei Kurchenko and meeting with Igor Kolomoisky, explains one of the participants of the meeting, who asked to remain anonymous.
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Sakvarelidze wanted March out all opposition forces, but most of the participants refused. Because of this, the talks moved to February 14. At the second meeting to a large company joined in hayday, independent Deputy Viktor Chumak, and instead of Irina Podolyak from “Samopomich” came Paul Kostenko, representing the “movement vizvolennya”.
The Embassy insisted that the shares cannot be stopped. Sakvarelidze again urged to leave all together. He was supported Kostenko, who said that street protest is the only way to replace this power. He immediately got the question: “Pasha, you are now the position of “Samopomich” Express or “Movement vizvolennya”? Kostenko, undaunted, replied that “Samopomich” in stock does not plan to participate.
The idea with this campaign was not in favour of Vasily Gatsko of “Demalyansa”, and Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who reminded that on February 18 is the anniversary of the shootings on the Maidan. They offered to lay flowers in memory of the victims.
The lack of action on Tymoshenko is not even discussed – it was known that the 18th she will be on a business trip in Munich.
Finally, the meeting tried to discuss the upcoming presidential election, but this conversation went wrong. Serhiy Vlasenko said that in the first round of elections it is important not to fight against each other, and the second to support a single candidate.
Who he will be if at all and whether the opponents of the authorities to work together in the future – questions that the opposition could not answer before and not now. No matter – with Saakashvili or without him.
Photo by Ivan Grebenyuk/TSN
Bankova this situation is satisfied and even happy. There the disgraced politician as a Ukrainian opposition leader has buried. “Saakashvili has become a political outcast with no political future. And it is unlikely he will be able to lead the protests, while in Europe, and the leader they have,” says a close ally of Poroshenko.
Although, perhaps, to bury all the opposition together with Saakashvili before. The evening of February 15 nine political forces, including the “Batkivschyna”, “Svoboda”, “Samopomich” and “Demalyansa” made a General statement. In it, they urged the European politicians and diplomats to assess the political repression of the Ukrainian authorities, as well as provide the opportunity for Saakashvili to return to Ukraine and to protect their rights in the courts.
Whether will react to this cry of Europe – is unknown. As, however, and whether the opposition to negotiate and for the sake of victory in the presidential elections, to go beyond joint statements.
Maria Gartovska, Roman Kravets
- The state border service
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