Odessa residents rally against appointment of Saakashvili to governor


© Sputnik/ Denis Petrov

Odessa residents rallied on Sunday against the appointment of fugitive Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili as governor of the region.

Around 500 residents of Ukraine's Odessa rallied on Sunday against the newly appointed governor, fugitive Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Saakashvili fled Georgia after the country's new president was elected in November 2013. Saakashvili was appointed as Odessa's governor on May 30, after a brief stint as an advisor to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko. In Georgia, he is accused of embezzling at least $5 million from the state for personal use.

[embedded content]

"We were appointed a governor who has no relation to Odessa at all. Odessans, are there no worthy people among us?" activist Alexei Tsvetkov was quoted by Ukrainian media as saying.

Activists carried signs and banners saying "Saakashvili Go Home," "Freedom to Political Prisoners" and "Free Buzila," referring to journalist Artyom Buzila who was arrested on April 29, ahead of preparations for mourning of victims of the May 2, 2014 Odessa massacre.

During the rally, the leader of Odessa's Antimaidan, Moris Ibragim also spoke out in favor of a monument to the victims.