At a rally in Kharkiv, the former Georgian President and former Governor of Odessa Oblast, Mikheil Saakashvili, stated that the Ukrainian authorities might eliminate him, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"I know for a fact that they [the authorities of Ukraine] will try to get rid of me. They can subdue, deport, even kill me; it's not a problem. I am not afraid of it," Saakashvili said. According to the agency, 700-800 people took part in the rally.
“Let's show all those hucksters on October 17 that Ukraine is not tired; that there is intelligence in Ukraine; that there are people who are able to fight in Ukraine; that there is the will to win in Ukraine, and that Ukraine will win both against them, and against the external enemy," Saakashvili appealed to his supporters at the rally. A protest in support of political reform will be held on October 17 in front of the Verkhovna Rada.
After the rally, Saakashvili went to his car. At that time, an unknown person released pepper spray gas into the crowd. During the rally, there were also clashes between supporters and opponents of the former head of Odessa oblast.
Loudspeakers were twice denied during the protest, as the equipment was blowing smoke. An MP from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Serhiy Leshchenko, blamed the Ukrainian authorities for the equipment failure. "The fact that we lost audio was [due to the] direct opposition of the authorities. We checked the cable - all the technology works,” said Leshchenko.
In early October, Saakashvili said at a rally in Odessa that he "dreams of changing power in Kyiv." "I do not need any post in Ukraine, but I only dream of one thing: I want to change power in Kyiv, because they prevented me from changing Odessa, and returning to Odessa, and changing Odessa together with you," he said.
Saakashvili was deprived of Ukrainian citizenship in July by the decree of President Petro Poroshenko. In September, Saakashvili and his supporters broke through a blockade of border guards at the Shehyni checkpoint, located at the border of Poland and Ukraine. The court in the Lviv region fined Saakashvili 3400 UAH at the end of September for illegally crossing of the border.