NEWSWATCH: “The Case Against Saakashvili. It’s temping to see Georgia’s crusading former president as the solution to all of Ukraine’s problems. Here’s why caution is in order.” – ForeignPolicy.com/Adrian Karatnycky

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

Writing in Foreign Policy magazine, Adrian Karatnycky considers Georgian-turned-Ukrainian politician Mikheil Saakashvili.

Mikheil Saakashvili is back. Having left his native Georgia after voters repudiated his party and his term as president expired, Saakashvili has revived his political fortunes on a much larger playing field — Ukraine. The former Georgian president has taken Ukrainian citizenship and rapidly emerged as one of the country’s most popular political figures. And with good reason: he has bravado; he is a vast storehouse of energy; and he is tempting Ukrainians with an easy solution to poverty and corruption — namely, him.

… in May 2015 … the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, appointed him governor of the Odessa region … renowned for … corruption and organized crime. A master of public relations, Saakashvili threw himself into this role, promising to clean up Odessa and, in particular, its notoriously corrupt port. … he fired a number of top- and mid-level officials and replaced them with young, Western-educated Ukrainians, inexperienced but telegenic young activists, and a small coterie of political loyalists from Georgia.

Click here for ForeignPolicy.com/Adrian Karatnycky: “The Case Against Saakashvili. It’s temping to see Georgia’s crusading former president as the solution to all of Ukraine’s problems. Here’s why caution is in order.”

[featured image is file photo]