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Ukrainian Court Frees Ex-Leader of Georgia From Detention

December 11, 2017

Mr. Saakashvili said after the verdict that he would coordinate with other political forces in Ukraine to push for a peaceful change of government.

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On Sunday, thousands of Mr. Saakashvili’s supporters marched across Kiev, the capital, demanding Mr. Saakashvili’s release and calling for Mr. Poroshenko’s impeachment.

Mr. Saakashvili was a key figure in the 2003 protests that drove President Eduard A. Shevardnadze of Georgia from office. He served two terms as Georgia’s president from 2004 to 2013, winning acclaim for his anti-corruption efforts, but drawing criticism over a disastrous war with Russia and what his opponents saw as an authoritarian streak.

Mr. Poroshenko named him the governor of the Odessa region of Ukraine in 2015, but he resigned the next year, claiming that Mr. Poroshenko and other officials were impeding anti-corruption reforms, and he became a strong critic of his former patron.

Georgia stripped Mr. Saakashvili of his citizenship after his move to Ukraine. Mr. Poroshenko this summer rescinded his Ukrainian citizenship while Mr. Saakashvili was out of the country, leaving him stateless.

He forced his way into Ukraine in September, barging across the border from Poland with the help of a crowd of supporters.

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