Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has stepped down from his post as governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa. The resignation closes one chapter on the story of one of the post-Soviet space’s most colorful statesmen, but Saakashvili gave no hint about what his next step might be.
In a press conference to announce his resignation, Saakashvili lashed out at the corruption and ineffectiveness of his former partners in government, particularly President Petro Poroshenko. “What difference for Ukrainians does it make who will treat them like dirt: Poroshenko or Yanukovych; what difference who will steal from them?” Saakashvili said. Tellingly, however, Saakashvili did not even mention Georgia in his address, a fact that did not go unnoticed in Tbilisi.
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Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at EurasiaNet, and author of The Bug Pit. He is based in Istanbul.