Mikheil Saakashvili

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili

Mikheil Saakashvili is a Georgian politician, the third and current President of Georgia and leader of the United National Movement Party. Involved in national politics since 1995, he became president on 25 January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in the November 2003 bloodless "Rose Revolution" led by Saakashvili and his political allies, Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania. He was re-elected in the Georgian presidential election on 5 January 2008.
Mikheil Saakashvili's personal information overview.
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Ukraine deports opposition leader Saakashvili
Reuters.com - 8 days
Ukraine deported opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili to Poland on Monday. Law enforcement agents in camouflage seized him in a Kiev restaurant, ending months of cat and mouse with Saakashvili, a former president of his native Georgia.
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 Reuters.com article
Georgian Court Sentences Mikheil Saakashvili in Absentia to 3 Years in Prison
NYTimes - about 2 months
A Georgian court sentenced in absentia the former president to three years in prison for abusing his pardon powers while serving as president.
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 NYTimes article
Ukrainian judge frees Saakashvili from detention
Reuters.com - 2 months
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili was freed from detention on Monday, after a Ukrainian judge turned down the prosecutors' request to place him under house arrest - the latest twist in his dramatic standoff with the authorities.
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 Reuters.com article
Jailed Saakashvili calls for Ukraine president's impeachment
Fox News - 2 months
From his jail cell in Ukraine's capital, opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili is calling on supporters to rally for the impeachment of the president and has declared a hunger strike.
Article Link:
 Fox News article
What Is An Ex-Georgian President Doing Camping Outside Ukraine's Parliament?
NPR - 2 months
Once president of Georgia, then a governor in Ukraine, now stateless, Mikhail Saakashvili is leading protests — when he's not dodging the police. And this colorful figure's got quite the backstory. (Image credit: Sergei Chuzavkov/AFP/Getty Images)
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 NPR article
Georgia's former president evades Ukrainian police
Reuters.com - 3 months
Ukrainian police raid a protest camp in a failed bid to arrest former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.
Article Link:
 Reuters.com article
Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili freed after dramatic rooftop arrest in Ukraine
Yahoo News - 3 months
Former Georgia president Mikheil Saakashvili has been freed by protesters after a dramatic arrest on the rooftop of his Kiev flat amid a feud with Ukraine's president.  The authorities had seized the firebrand politician, who served as governor of Ukraine's Odessa region between 2015-16, on accusations of trying to overthrow the government of his former ally Petro Poroshenko. But the botched arrest only galvanised support for Mr Saakashvili and led to ongoing demonstrations in the capital and a criminal case against his sympathisers in parliament. Mr Saakashvili had climbed onto the roof of his eight-storey building in downtown Kiev and threatened to jump when heavily armed security forces stormed his flat on Tuesday morning.   “Poroshenko is a thief! Poroshenko is a traitor to Ukraine!” he yelled before the troopers seized him and put him in a van. But protesters blocked the vehicle with other cars and makeshift barricades as the police attempted to quell the unrest with tear gas.   ...
Article Link:
 Yahoo News article
Stateless Mikheil Saakashvili breaks through into Ukraine
ABC News - 5 months
Mikheil Saakashvili and a small crowd of supporters shoved their way through a line of guards on the Ukrainian border Sunday, making good on the politician's vow to return to the land that had stripped him of citizenship
Article Link:
 ABC News article
Saakashvili seeks return to Ukraine despite stateless status
Fox News - 6 months
Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and a former governor in Ukraine, says he's not afraid to try and return to Ukraine even though his citizenship there has been withdrawn, making him stateless.
Article Link:
 Fox News article
Ukraine strips Saakashvili of his citizenship, leaving the hero of the Rose Revolution without a country
LATimes - 7 months
There was a time when Mikheil Saakashvili was seen as the West’s great hope for reform in the former Soviet Union. But since Thursday, he has had a more pressing problem: He is a man without a country. He was in New York when he learned that Ukraine, his adoptive home, had stripped him of his citizenship....
Article Link:
 LATimes article
Georgia's ex-president vows to force early Ukraine elections
Yahoo News - over 1 year
Georgia's pro-Western former president Mikheil Saakashvili on Friday announced plans to create a new opposition movement in Ukraine that aims to topple the current leadership and force early elections. Saakashvili was a passionate supporter of Ukraine's 2014 pro-EU revolution that ousted the Russian-backed president and set the former Soviet republic on its westward course.
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 Yahoo News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mikheil Saakashvili
  • 2015
    Saakashvili stated on 1 June 2015 that he had given up (three days before) Georgian citizenship to avoid "guaranteed imprisonment" in Georgia.
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    On 30 May 2015 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili Governor of Odessa Oblast (region).
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    In December 2015 Saakashvili started an anti-corruption NGO Movement for Purification.
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    On 4 December 2015 Saakashvili was stripped of his Georgian citizenship.
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    Also on 1 June 2015 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia stated that the appointment of Saakashvili would not have a negative impact on the relations between Georgia and Ukraine.
    Saakashvili stated on 1 June 2015 that he had now changed his mind to avoid "guaranteed imprisonment" in Georgia and to defend Georgian interest through his governorship in Odessa.
    On the previous day, 29 May 2015, he was granted Ukrainian citizenship.
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    On 30 May 2015 Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili Governor of Odessa Oblast (region).
    On 13 February 2015 Saakashvili was appointed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko as head of the International Advisory Council on Reforms—an advisory body whose main task is working out proposals and recommendations for implementation and introduction of reforms in Ukraine based on best international practices.
  • 2014
    In September 2014 Saakashvili moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
    On 28 July 2014, criminal charges were filed by the Georgian prosecutor's office against the former President Mikheil Saakashvili over alleged "exceeding official powers" during the 2007 Georgian demonstrations as well as a police raid on and "seizure" of Imedi TV and other assets owned by the late tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.
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    On 7 March 2014, Saakashvili authored an op-ed piece entitled "When Putin invaded my country", in the context of the turmoil in Ukraine after the ouster on 22 February of President Viktor Yanukovich and before the 16 March referendum in the 2014 Crimean crisis.
    Saakashvili energetically supported Ukraine's Euromaidan movement and its 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
  • 2013
    In December 2013 Saakashvili accepted the position of lecturer and senior statesman at Tufts University in the United States.
    He was barred from seeking a third term in the 2013 presidential election.
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    He was barred by the constitution of Georgia from seeking a third term in the 2013 presidential election, which was won by the Georgian Dream's candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili.
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  • 2012
    On 2 October 2012, Saakashvili admitted defeat in Georgia's parliamentary election against Bidzina Ivanishvili in the election the day before.
    In September, 2012, during Saakashvili's presidency, a video taken inside Tbilisi prison Gldani #8 showing prisoners being beaten and sodomized was released to the public.
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  • 2010
    In 2010, he had a 67% approval rating despite being criticized by the opposition for his alleged authoritarian tendencies and electoral fraud.
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  • 2009
    The pressure against Saakashvili intensified in 2009, when the opposition launched mass demonstrations against Saakashvili's rule.
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  • 2008
    On 28 October 2008, Mikheil Saakashvili proposed Grigol Mgaloblishvili, Georgian Ambassador to Turkey for the premiership.
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    On 22 February 2008 Saakashvili held an official meeting with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, in his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.
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    Another series of demonstrations forced Saakashvili to reset the pre-scheduled presidential elections to 5 January 2008. On 5 January 2008, an early presidential election, was held nationwide with the exception of a highland village Shatili, where the polling station was not opened due to the high levels of snowfall.
    He also proposed to hold a plebiscite in parallel to snap presidential elections about when to hold parliamentary polls – in spring as pushed for by the opposition parties, or in late 2008.
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    He was re-elected in the Georgian presidential election on 5 January 2008.
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  • 2007
    In a televised address, President Saakashvili had proposed to hold the election earlier than called for by the Georgian constitution in order to resolve the political tension surrounding opposition-led demonstrations, their suppression by the government on 7 November 2007, and the closure of the most popular opposition television network, Imedi.
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    On 23 November 2007, the ruling United National Movement party officially nominated Saakashvili as its candidate for the upcoming elections.
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    On 8 November 2007, President Saakashvili announced a compromise solution to hold early presidential elections for 5 January 2008.
    The late Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili claimed that pressure had been exerted on his financial interests after Imedi Television broadcast several accusations against officials. On 25 October 2007, former defense minister Irakli Okruashvili accused the president of planning Patarkatsishvili's murder. Okruashvili was detained two days later on charges of extortion, money laundering, and abuse of office. However, in a videotaped confession released by the General Prosecutor's Office on 8 October 2007, in which Okruashvili pleaded guilty to large-scale bribery through extortion and negligence while serving as minister, he retracted his accusations against the president and said that he did so to gain some political benefit and that Badri Patarkatsishvili told him to do so.
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  • 2006
    In December 2006, Saakashvili signed a constitutional amendment completely abolishing the death penalty in law.
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    In late July 2006, Saakashvili's government managed to deal successfully with another major crisis, this time in Abkhazia's Kodori Gorge where Georgia's police forces disarmed a defiant militia led by a local warlord Emzar Kvitsiani.
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  • 2005
    On 10 May 2005, while U.S. President George W. Bush was giving a speech in Tbilisi's Freedom Square, Vladimir Arutyunian threw a live hand grenade at where Saakashvili and Bush were sitting.
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  • 2004
    The crisis threatened to develop into an armed confrontation, but Saakashvili's government managed to resolve the conflict peacefully, forcing Abashidze to resign on 6 May 2004.
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    Saakashvili was sworn in as President in Tbilisi on 25 January 2004.
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    On 4 January 2004 Mikheil Saakashvili won the presidential elections in Georgia with more than 96% of the votes cast, making him the youngest national president in Europe.
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    The 2004 presidential election were carried out on 4 January 2004.
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    He is the current Governor of Ukraine's Odessa Oblast (region), and was the third President of Georgia for two consecutive terms from 25 January 2004 to 17 November 2013.
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  • 2003
    When Saakashvili took office, the university entrance system was bribe-based, with a university spot costing up to $50,000 in 2003.
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    Saakashvili's "storming of Georgia's parliament" in 2003 "put U.S. diplomats off guard...
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  • 2002
    In June 2002, he was elected as the Chairman of the Tbilisi Assembly ("Sakrebulo") following an agreement between the United National Movement and the Georgian Labour Party.
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  • 2001
    Having resigned from the government and quit the Shevardnadze-run Union of Citizens of Georgia party, Saakashvili founded the United National Movement (UNM) in October 2001, a center-right political party with a touch of nationalism, to provide a focus for part of the Georgian reformists leaders.
    Saakashvili resigned on 5 September 2001, saying that "I consider it immoral for me to remain as a member of Shevardnadze's government."
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    But in mid-2001 he became involved in a major controversy with the State Security Minister Vakhtang Kutateladze and Tbilisi police chief Ioseb Alavidze, accusing them of profiting from corrupt business deals.
  • 2000
    On 12 October 2000, Saakashvili became Minister of Justice for the government of President Shevardnadze.
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    In January 2000, Saakashvili was appointed Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
  • 1997
    He was named "man of the year" by a panel of journalists and human rights advocates in 1997.
  • 1995
    He stood in the December 1995 elections along with Zhvania, and both men won seats in parliament, standing for the Union of Citizens of Georgia, Shevardnadze's party.
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    He interned at the United Nations. After graduation, while on internship in the New York law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in early 1995, Saakashvili was approached by Zurab Zhvania, an old friend from Georgia who was working on behalf of President Eduard Shevardnadze to enter politics.
    In 1995, he also received a diploma from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
  • 1994
    He received an LL.M. from Columbia Law School in 1994 and took classes at The George Washington University Law School the following year.
  • 1993
    Saakashvili is married to Dutch linguist Sandra Roelofs, whom he met in Strasbourg in 1993.
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  • 1992
    Saakashvili graduated from the Institute of International Relations (Department of International Law) of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (in then independent Ukraine) in 1992.
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  • 1989
    During university, he served his shortened military service in 1989–1990 with the Soviet Border Troops' checkpoint unit in the Boryspil Airport in Ukraine (then as Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic also a part of the Soviet Union).
  • 1967
    Mikheil Saakashvili was born in Tbilisi on 21 December 1967, capital of the then Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union, to a Georgian family.
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