MOSCOW – As president of Georgia, he survived a disastrous war with Russia. As regional governor in Ukraine committed to the fight against corruption, he clashed with almost everyone, including his estranged former ally, the president of Ukraine, Petro O. Poroshenko.
On Tuesday, Mikheil Saakashvili, once darling of the West, took her place – she turned the political race to new and bizarre heights when she climbed the roof of her five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, with agents of the law in pursuit. While a crowd of followers gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukrainian leaders and, according to several local media, threatened to jump if security agents tried to trap him.
Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a Traitor and thief, the former Georgian leader was arrested but later released by his supporters, who, in the midst of thunderous scenes on the street, blocked a van from the security service before he could take Mr. Saakashvili to a detention center in Kiev and allowed him to escape.
With a Ukrainian flag on his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili led hundreds of supporters on a march through Kiev to Parliament. Speaking through a megaphone, he appealed for "peaceful protests" to remove Mr. Poroshenko from his post, just as the protests had overthrown the former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014.
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