Mikheil Saakashvili came to power in his native Georgia in 2003 when he and his supporters stormed the parliament building in Tbilisi. Now, he seems to hope that his raucous re-entry into Ukraine – his adoptive homeland that stripped him of citizenship this past July – will catalyze his return to political relevancy there.
What started out as a seeming publicity stunt now threatens to turn into a predicament that strikes at the heart of Ukrainian statehood. Saakashvili’s ability to break into Ukraine on September 10, circumventing normal passport and customs procedures, is undermining Ukrainian sovereignty, and calls into question the government’s capacity to maintain border controls and enforce laws.
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Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska is a freelance journalist covering the post-Soviet space. Kaja Puto is a Polish journalist who writes on Eastern Europe and migration.