Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and the ex-governor of Odessa oblast in Ukraine, who after a fallout with the then Ukrainian President Poroshenko exited Ukrainian politics, in a recent appearance on Ukrainian television predicted a possible break up of Ukraine. According to Saakashvili, the main threat in the country comes from corrupt local officials.

“Thieves continue to work in the system. Local authorities are in a complete mess. It’s just that it’s not possible to fix this through elections. Local elites have remained the same”, said the Georgian politician, who studied in Kiev and in 2015 was granted Ukrainian citizenship by his then ally Poroshenko.

According to Saakashvili Ukraine could simply fall apart without a radical correction of the political system. “Ukraine will break up,” the ex-president of Georgia said: “These people have overgrown with money, Trukhanov (the mayor of Odessa, – ed.) has a private army, Kernes (the mayor of Kharkov, – ed.) has his own fellows. These people just don’t go anywhere. They are preparing the infrastructure so that Ukraine becomes five more Ukraines.”

Saakashvili even compared Kiev in Soviet times and present Kiev: “I have been in Kiev since 1985. The cities of Ukraine have never been in such bad shape. And every year it gets worse and worse. Roads, facades, hospitals, incomes are getting worse. Kiev and Ukraine now are much worse than under the Soviet Union. Although I have no nostalgia for the USSR.”

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