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Ex-Georgian leader slams clashes in Kiev as provocation staged by law enforcers

December 18, 2017, 13:19 UTC+3 KIEV

On Sunday, the third impeachment march organized by Saakashvili’s party was held in Kiev

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Former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili

Former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili

© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

KIEV, December 18. /TASS/. Former Georgian president, ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region and currently leader of the Ukrainian opposition Movement of New Forces Mikhail Saakashvili has said he did not organize the seizure of the October Palace building in central Kiev.

"What happened yesterday after a large-scale march was a provocation and a classic ambush," Saakashvili told reporters on Monday, adding that the provocation was staged by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU).

"I did not take people to the street to seize the palace," he assured. According to Saakashvili, some "lawmakers’ wives" offered the protesters to equip their headquarters in two rooms in Kiev’s October Palace. However, they saw National Guard fighters and people wearing masks near the building. "They knew we would come to the October Palace. There were five police lines there," he added.

In addition to that, Saakashvili claimed that all statements that a New Year performance for children was underway during the events in the October Palace are untrue.

On Sunday, the third impeachment march organized by Saakashvili’s party was held in Kiev. After the ex-governor of the Odessa region said the coordination headquarters would be organized in the October Palace, the participants in the rally marched toward the building cordoned off by National Guard fighters. Despite the law enforcers’ words that an event for children was being held in the building, the protesters tried to get inside. Clashes with the use of tear gas, fire extinguishers and a flash grenade took place. Sixty National Guard fighters were injured, 15 of them were taken to hospital.

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