Saakashvili, backers march in Ukraine's capital

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Supporters of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who served as Governor of Odessa, Ukraine, have forcefully released his from a law enforcement van.

His Ukrainian citizenship was revoked this year while he was out of the country, but he returned in September after supporters broke through a police line at the Polish border. He has led protests against his government since October. Saakashvili was subsequently detained and is to be questioned on suspicion of assisting criminals and concealing their criminal activities. Hundreds of protesters had been blocking the police van with Saakashvili inside during an hours-long standoff with police.

Mr Saakashvili said he was unexpectedly swept over the border by a crowd, angry that the crossing was closed.

Several hundred protesters and opposition politician Mikheil Saakashvili are marching down the streets of the Ukrainian capital to the parliament to demand the president's resignation. "I call on Ukrainians not to allow me to be abducted, I appeal to the people of Kiev not to allow lawlessness". The politician was accused of complicity with a criminal group.

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Ukrainian authorities detained Mikheil Saakashvili at his home on Tuesday morning but hundreds of protesters stopped the police van with Saakashvili inside from driving away.

"Time will show where this leads to, we pray it will stay peaceful!"

Asked to comment on the situation, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "We are not used to responding to the statements of people sitting on roofs".

"Political arrests will radically diminish the country's credibility in the West".

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Mr Saakashvili was joined by a number of his supporters, including former Ukrainian Prime Minister and current opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

He was Georgia's president for almost a decade before he was prevented from running again by term limits. The idea has symbolic resonance because the square was the center of the mass protests that drove out Ukraine's pro-Russian president in 2014.

In the wake of the pro-Western revolution in Kiev he moved to Ukraine in 2015 to work for the country's authorities as governor of the key Odessa region on the Black Sea, before falling out with Poroshenko.

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