Listen to this article Georgia’s Ex-President: Putin Killing Me in Prison. US, Save My Life!
Former Georgian President Accuses Putin and Calls on US to Save His Life
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, says that he is dying in a Georgian prison and blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for his situation while accusing Georgia’s ruling party of exhibiting “increasing solidarity with Russia.”
Saakashvili rose to power after leading the bloodless Rose Revolution in 2003, which pushed out the country’s Soviet-era leadership. He was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, forging closer ties with the West during his tenure. But he left the country after his term ended, and his party lost a 2012 parliamentary election to Georgian Dream.
Saakashvili relinquished his Georgian citizenship and became a Ukrainian citizen. He was appointed as governor of Odessa in 2015.
However, authorities in Georgia filed criminal charges against him while he resided in Ukraine. In 2018, he was convicted in absentia. Upon returning to his home country in October 2021, the former Georgian leader was apprehended and detained.
Saakashvili’s Plight in Prison
In a recent op-ed published by Politico and submitted through his US legal counsel, the former world leader Saakashvili stated that authorities have imprisoned him on charges of abuse of power that are politically motivated. He reported that his health has deteriorated rapidly while in detention, alleging that he has endured systematic physical and psychological torture. Furthermore, medical evidence shows that heavy metal poisoning has affected Saakashvili. While in confinement, he has developed over 20 severe illnesses.
“I am now dying,” Saakashvili wrote. “Putin, who once threatened to ‘hang me by the balls,’ is undoubtedly, ultimately responsible for my current predicament.” Saakashvili has claimed that Russian agents infiltrated Georgian security services and poisoned him.
Georgia “Sliding Toward the Kremlin”
Saakashvili also warned that Georgia’s government is “sliding toward the Kremlin” amid Russia’s ongoing and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. He described himself as a “political prisoner” who continues to “defend democracy against Putin and his allies.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, some have also expressed concerns that Georgia could be Putin’s next target. Russian troops have occupied roughly 20% of Georgia’s territory, the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, since the two countries fought a war 15 years ago.
The Georgian Dream party, founded by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who made his fortune in Russia, has refused to support sanctions against Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine. Experts have warned that the Georgian Dream party is increasingly pushing Georgia into Russia’s orbit, and that the country’s government and people are sharply divided when it comes to forging closer ties with the West and issues like the war in Ukraine.Read more: Georgia’s Ex-President: Putin Killing Me In Prison. US, Save My Life!