Georgian ex-president burst through police block and into Ukraine

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Saakashvili, who became governor of Ukraine's Odessa region after being Georgia's president from 2004 to 2013, poses a strong challenge to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who once was Saakashvili's patron but then revoked his citizenship in July.

Saakashvili, who studied in Ukraine and speaks fluent Ukrainian, received Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 from Poroshenko when the president made him governor of Odessa. Ukrainian police have filed criminal charges against him for breaching the border, so he may face possible deportation to Georgia, where he has yet more criminal charges stacked against him. Saakashvili says the decision was politically motivated.

Before crossing the border, Saakashvili has explained stis difficulty by the fact that Kiev "panic", saying that he wanted "not to overthrow the president Porochenko" goal just to defend sti rights.

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Supporters who had gathered on the Ukrainian side rushed forward to greet Saakashvili and the crowd proceeded toward the Ukrainian town of Shehyni on foot.

"But instead, he committed a crime - because the state border must not be violated", Poroshenko said. It left him effectively stateless as Georgia has also withdrawn his citizenship.

Saakashvili denies the accusations branding them a political witch hunt. According to the border police, 12 policemen and five border guards suffered in clashes with guards of Saakashvili.

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The return carries risks for Saakashvili, who is stateless. Party in the bus, he then opted for the train, then returned to the bus to eventually make it to the post of Medyka, where the border guard Polish let it pass, aim where he found himself facing a barrage of men in uniform Ukrainian and cars.

"This is a question of the national security of the state".

Saakashvili said he wanted to return to Ukraine to contest Poroshenko's action stripping him of his citizenship while he was out of the country.

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"Now this is a matter of law enforcement agencies and they have begun to act", Poroshenko said. But seeing Saakashvili, a politician who claims to bring a new quality into Ukrainian politics, with Tymoshenko, who represents an old guard, raised eyebrows.

Kiev is "panicking", Saakashvili said, adding that he did "not want to overthrow President Poroshenko" but just defend his rights.

Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko said late on Sunday that charges would be pursued against organisers of Saakashvili's unauthorised entry. They definitely underestimated him and how far he can go and, therefore, didn't prepare a plan to handle a scenario of Saakashvili's return to Ukraine.

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