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In Kyiv, Dramatic Scenes As Saakashvili Detained, Then Freed After Supporters Confront Police

Supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili freed the former Georgian president from a police van amid chaotic scenes after Ukrainian security forces stormed his apartment in Kyiv, dragged him off the roof, and detained him.

Amid a dramatic standoff between officers in riot gear and hundreds of protesters who blocked streets in an effort to prevent the authorities from taking him away, Saakashvili was pulled from the van despite police resistance and called for President Petro Poroshenko's exit from power.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, ex-governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, and opponent of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, shouts to supporters from the roof of the apartment building where he had been staying. 
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Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, ex-governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, and opponent of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, shouts to supporters from the roof of the apartment building where he had been staying. 

Saakashvili being hauled out of the apartment in Kyiv at around 7 a.m. on December 5
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Saakashvili being hauled out of the apartment in Kyiv at around 7 a.m. on December 5

Police force Saakashvili into a police van. The official reason given for his arrest was that he was "plotting" against the Ukrainian authorities with the help of allies financed by exiled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
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Police force Saakashvili into a police van. The official reason given for his arrest was that he was "plotting" against the Ukrainian authorities with the help of allies financed by exiled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Supporters of Saakashvili clash with police as the number of protesters swells. 
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Supporters of Saakashvili clash with police as the number of protesters swells. 

National Guard troops join in the scuffles near the apartment. 
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National Guard troops join in the scuffles near the apartment. 

A woman attacks police as they attempt to clear the way for a police van holding Saakashvili. 
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A woman attacks police as they attempt to clear the way for a police van holding Saakashvili. 

Saakashvili supporters clash with National Guard officers in Kyiv. The numbers of protesters swelled quickly after an associate of Saakashvili published the address of the apartment the police stormed. 
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Saakashvili supporters clash with National Guard officers in Kyiv. The numbers of protesters swelled quickly after an associate of Saakashvili published the address of the apartment the police stormed. 

As the van neared Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square -- the focal point of the deadly 2014 Euromaidan protests -- protesters were able to block the van's passage. 
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As the van neared Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square -- the focal point of the deadly 2014 Euromaidan protests -- protesters were able to block the van's passage. 

Tear gas or pepper spray being used against protesters during the standoff. 
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Tear gas or pepper spray being used against protesters during the standoff. 

Protesters stack paving stones as the standoff grows. 
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Protesters stack paving stones as the standoff grows. 

Saakashvili's supporters move paving stones during a standoff with police in Kyiv on December 5.
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Saakashvili's supporters move paving stones during a standoff with police in Kyiv on December 5.

Saakashvili surrounded by his supporters after being freed from police detention
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Saakashvili surrounded by his supporters after being freed from police detention

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