The return of the prodigal Saakashvili

Author : Olena Holubeva

Source : 112 Ukraine

Fight and bomb threat at Ukraine's border checkpoint: find out all the details of returm of Mikheil Saakashvili, deprived of Ukraine's citizenship
09:10, 11 September 2017

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August 16, ex-head of Odesa regional administration Mikheil Saakashvili, who was deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, declared that he would return to Ukraine on September 10 through Krakovets border checkpoint (Lviv region). About a week before this date, the press office of People's Deputy Yuriy Derevyanko announced accreditation for journalists at this event.

Related: Saakashvili can enter Ukraine only with visa

The day before the date, almost 300 activists were to move to Krakovets checkpoint to make the tents. However, as it turned out, there were more action participants than planned by the organizers. In total, from 2 to 3 thousand people came to the camp. All the places were booked in a motel at the checkpoint "Krakovets" long before the event. Few days before it was very difficult to find an apartment in Lviv hotels. However, it might be connected with the fact that at the time of Saakashvili’s arrival, several major conferences in the city were held.

Related: Border Service asks “not to use” Krakovets checkpoint when Saakashvili arrives

In the morning, journalists were joined by a few hundred activists with the Ukrainian flags and the flags of the Saakashvili’s party "Movement of New Forces." As it was known the day before, the State Customs Service and activists of "Varta 1" NGO asked people try not to go to Krakovets checkpoint on the day of Saakashvili's arrival in order to avoid queues. However, cars with activists stretched for several kilometers and in several places they formed a jam. Closer to the checkpoint in the queue, several dozen wagons were also lined up.

The tent camp, built near the checkpoint, was really impressive. The scene, a huge screen broadcasting what is happening on stage, stream from Peremyshl, tents, people in camouflage.

Nikolai Katerinchuk said at all that regardless of whether Saakashvili would be allowed to go to Ukraine or not, in November on the Maidan there should be tents. Speakers on the stage criticized the current government, President Petro Poroshenko and his entourage. They talked about Ilovaisk tragedy, noting that the perpetrators not been punished yet.

The founder of "Varta 1" Zinkevich explained that provocations would take place during the action. "I am sure that the situation with Saakashvili’s arrival would be used by the forces that have long wanted to unsettle the situation in Lviv. Lviv stands steadily, there are no such problems like in Kyiv, I mean explosions," Zinkevich noted.

Related: Train with Saakashvili delayed "because of person who has no reason to enter Ukraine"

It should be noted that despite the efforts made by the police, activists, special services, several provocations did happen. Someone announced from the stage that Saakashvili and his son were on the Polish side of the border and the former Georgian president was giving a press conference. Several buses drove up to the tent camp, and guys in camouflage came out. The confusion began. The activists ran to them yelling “Provocateurs! Provocateurs! Titushka!” The fighters of Donbas batallion and the police began to separate the parties. As a result, people in camouflage were taken into a tight ring by policemen, others lined before them in a row, and the journalists were pushed out of the line.

The second provocation occurred after a while - activist of Femen organization bared her breasts. The police grabbed her, but the activists of the camp rushed to them - men and women aggressively tried to protect the girl, insulted the police officers and even threatened them. As a result, police had to retreat, dragging the girl behind them and closing the front rows in front of people. Crowd of journalists and cameramen trying to shoot what was happening, created more and more chaos. The law enforcers brutally dragged Femen activist, a bare-backed was transported over the fence. The girl was screaming and kicking.

Almost all the journalists came straight to the gate of the checkpoint. As a result, the police stretched their cordon to the gate. Border guards has put extra patrols. There were people in camouflage masks.

Related: Georgia asks Ukraine to extradite Saakashvili

More and more activists were coming up to the gates of the checkpoint, and, accordingly, policemen, in addition to decently dressed men in civilian clothes with characteristically tense faces. But then it was announced from the scene that ... Saakashvili's plans have changed, and he will go by train (from Peremyshl).

Saakashvili was trying to confuse his opponents. He has eventually canceled the press conference in Rzeszów, met with Tymoshenko, Nalyvaichenko, a group of people's deputies and Saakashvili’s comrades went to Peremyshl.

Most of the activists, who had cars, drove to the new destination, a few hundred more people with flags went off to attack the local buses.

In this situation, a lightning rod was found. This was the duty officer at the Brody station, who allegedly personally instructed not to let the train "Peremyshl-Kyiv" depart. So the National Police explained why the train was first detained, and then completely canceled. Hundreds of passengers were held hostage to the political game. By the way, the administration of the train has initially said that police allegedly instructed not to depart because of a person on board who was banned from entering the territory of Ukraine.

In general, the train stayed in Peremyshl for over an hour, until the passengers were invited to go home on buses. "Please contact the duty officer at the station, and you will go to Ukraine by buses, the cost of the tickets will be returned at the destination point," the passengers were informed.

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People's deputies wrote a statement to Yuriy Lutsenko, they blamed President Poroshenko for everything that happened. Then they moved to another Intercity, but the delegation did not go there either. Saakashvili gave a press conference directly at the railway station, announcing that he would go to Ukraine by bus. He called his new goal – "Shehyni" checkpoint.

Related: Saakashvili to address court in Ukraine, then – ECHR

Polish border guards have let Saakashvili leave Poland at "Shehyni" checkpoint, but Ukrainian side has blocked his way.

At "Shehyni" checkpoint, Saakashvili was met "special forces in bulletproof vests," and the border guards reported that "according to the information of the operational duty of the Security Service in the Lviv region, there is a bomb threat at "Shehyni" checkpoint.

Related: Mikheil Saakashvili’s brother to be deported from Ukraine, - Kiva

After an hour of sort things out at "Shehyni," a fight began right at the checkpoint. The crowd that gathered near the "Shehyni," broke through the border from the Ukrainian side and started a fight with the border guards, who were standing in the transit zone. Assistant to the Head of the State Border Service Oleg Slobodyan noted that the consequences of such events at the moment are difficult to predict. However, people’s deputy Mustafa Nayem said that Saakashvili has already crossed the border, and currently he is on Ukrainian territory.


Related: Saakashvili crosses border of Ukraine


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