Country Risk

Arrest of former Odessa governor likely to trigger potentially violent protests in Ukrainian capital in coming weeks

05 December 2017


On 5 December 2017, the Ukrainian security services (Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny, SBU) raided the apartment of the former Georgian president and former Odessa governor, Mikheil Saakashvili in central Kiev.

Saakashvili served as the governor of Odessa region from May 2015–November 2016, when he was a political ally of President Petro Poroshenko, but since then has turned into an opponent, criticising the current government’s poor results in fighting endemic corruption in Ukraine. The SBU detained Saakashvili, who informed his supporters of the raid via social media. Several hundreds of his supporters turned up in central Kiev, blocking the SBU vehicles, including one transporting Saakashvili, with makeshift barricades and engaging in scuffles with the police.

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