Saakashvili Leads Demonstration Calling for Poroshenko’s Resignation; 3 Protesters, 1 Policeman Hurt in Clash

October 17, 2017
Tent camp on the night of October 17, 2017 in Kiev. Photo by

Ukraine Day 1338: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. One Ukrainian soldier was killed in battle at Maryinka.

Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.

An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


Saakashvili Leads Demonstration Calling for Poroshenko’s Resignation; 3 Protesters, 1 Policeman Hurt in Clash

Police hold back demonstrators on October 17 in Kiev. Photo by 

Former Georgian president and ex-Odessa region governor Mikheil Saakashvili led a protest rally against President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev today, calling for Poroshenko’s resignation, reported.

The two former allies split when Saakashvili charged Poroshenko with corruption, then President Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of the citizenship given him when he accepted the job of Odessa governor. Saakashvili left Ukraine, then returned last month.

Activists today blocked the entrances to the Verkhova Rada or parliament to draw attention to their demands.

MP Igor Mosiychuk from the Radical Party and Zoryan Shkiryak, an advisor to the Interior Ministry chief said there were plans to storm the parliament but this did not happen.

The rally generally proceeded peacefully but there were brief clashes in which three demonstrators and one policeman were injured. The protesters were treated at the scene and the policeman was taken to the hospital. 

MP Vladimir Parasiuk assaulted Valery Geletey, head of the State Security Directorate. Geletey said he would not press charges.
Activists threw eggs at MP Aleksei Honcharenko of the Petro Poroshenko bloc, and his fellow faction member Oleg Barna was struck in the face.

Demonstrators put up a tent city and MP Mustafa Nayyem, who was a leader in the Maidan demonstrations in 2013-2014, said the next demonstration was scheduled for October 19.

About 4,500 people took part in the protest, RFE/RL reported, citing the state agency Ukrinform, less than organizers had hoped.

Toward evening, the square emptied out, and police cordons remained only near the tent camp. 

Poroshenko registered a draft law to remove parliamentarian immunity starting in 2010. Under the current law, a deputy cannot be prosecuted, detained or arrested without consent from parliament.

A competing law, also involving removal of immunity, has been initiated by 150 MPs. The law will be reviewed October 19.

On the front line, Russia-backed forces attacked 19 times, the Anti-Terrorist Operation [ATO] reported on Facebook. One Ukrainian soldier was killed in Maryinka.

Militants fired heavy machine guns on Avdeyevka and Zaytsevo on the Donetsk line as well as 120-mm mortars at the latter. They also fired on the Butovka coal mind. Small arms were shot at Kamenka.

On the Maritime line, Maryinka was shelled at about 13:00. Ukrainian forces returned fire to stop the barrage, losing one soldier. Vodyanoye, Shirokino and Talakovka were also attacked.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

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