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Live Blog: Ukraine In Crisis (Archive)

A portrait of slain separatist leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko hangs outside the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre on September 2.

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-- EDITOR'S NOTE: We have started a new Ukraine Live Blog as of September 3, 2018. You can find it here.

-- Tens of thousands of people gathered on September 2 in the separatist stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine to mourn a top rebel leader who was recently killed in a bomb attack.

-- Prominent Ukrainian historian Mykola Shityuk has been found dead in his home city of Mykolaiv, police said on September 2.​

-- Ukraine says it has imprisoned the man it accused of being recruited by Russia’s secret services to organize a murder plot against self-exiled Russian reporter and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko.

-- Ukraine and Russia are trading blame for the killing of a top separatist leader in eastern Ukraine.

-- Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the head of the head of the breakaway separatist entity known as the Donetsk People’s Republic, was killed in an explosion at a cafe in Donetsk on August 31.

-- The United States is ready to widen arms supplies to Ukraine to help build up the country's naval and air defense forces in the face of continuing Russian support for eastern separatists, the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine told The Guardian.

-- The spiritual head of the worldwide Orthodox Church in Istanbul has hosted Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill for talks on Ukraine's bid to split from the Russian church, a move strongly opposed by Moscow.

*Time stamps on the blog refer to local time in Ukraine

16:49 2.9.2017

Just a reminder:

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have started a new Ukraine Live Blog. Find the archived version that ends September 1, 2017, here.

17:46 2.9.2017

17:56 2.9.2017

Saakashvili's Brother Detained In Kyiv, Faces Deportation Amid Escalating Feud

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

The brother of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is facing deportation from Ukraine on allegations that he was in the country illegally, a move that comes amid a fierce standoff between the ex-head of state and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

A Ukrainian Interior Ministry spokesman told RFE/RL on September 2 that David Saakashvili was taken into custody earlier in the day because his residence permit had been canceled in March.

"It has now been decided that he should leave the territory of our country," spokesman Artem Shevchenko said.

David Saakasvili, who was released later in the day, will also be fined for violating migration laws, Shevchenko added.

His detention was the latest development in an escalating feud between the former Georgian president, who also previously served as governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, and Poroshenko.

Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship on July 26, a move the former Georgian president condemned as an "illegal way to remove me from the political scene in Ukraine."

Saakashvili is currently in Poland, and he announced last month that he plans to return to Ukraine on September 10 by crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border in Ukraine's western region of Lviv.

In a Facebook post earlier on September 2, Saakashvili suggested that by detaining his brother, Ukrainian authorities are attempting to dissuade him from returning to the country.

Saakashvili was stripped of his Georgian citizenship in 2015 after he took Ukrainian citizenship in order to become Odesa's governor. He resigned from the post in November, saying that the government in Kyiv was sabotaging crucial reforms.

Poroshenko said on September 1 that he had been required to cancel Saakashvili's citizenship because his application for the passport contained "inaccurate or false information." Saakashvili disputes this, saying Poroshenko illegally stripped him of his citizenship.

Saakashvili, a pro-Western politician who rose to power in Tbilisi in the bloodless 2003 Rose Revolution, has been left essentially stateless.

Georgia is seeking his extradition to face charges related to the violent dispersal of protesters and a raid on a private television station. Saakashvili says the charges are politically motivated.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Interfax, and AFP
18:42 2.9.2017

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21:48 2.9.2017

That concludes our live-blogging of the Ukraine crisis for Saturday, September 2, 2017. Check back here tomorrow for more of our continuing coverage.

10:12 3.9.2017

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