12:08 GMT +317 January 2018
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    The governor of the Odessa Region and ex-Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili

    Saakashvili's Appointment as Odessa Governor Was 'Insult' to Ukrainians - Putin

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin considers Mikheil Saakashvili's appointment as a governor of Odessa to be an an insult to the Ukrainian people.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Mikheil Saakashvili's appointment as a governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa was an insult to the Ukrainian people due to his lack of qualification, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "This is just a spit in the face, an insult to the residents of Odessa and to the Ukrainian people… He cannot fulfill the duties of a governor of Odessa. Are there no decent, businesslike Ukrainians qualified for the job?" Putin said, when interviewed by US film director Oliver Stone for his "Ukraine on Fire" documentary.

    The film, that will be aired by the Russian REN TV broadcaster at 5 p.m. local time (14:00 GMT) later on Monday, describes the origins of the ongoing deadly conflict in Eastern Ukraine and details the foreign involvement in the violent clashes in Kiev.

    Saakashvili resigned from the position of the governor on November 7, citing Kiev's reluctance to fight corruption as the reason for his resignation and accusing the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko of protecting the criminals.

    Saakashvili, a fugitive from prosecution in his homeland Georgia, was granted Ukrainian citizenship and appointed the governor of the Odessa Region last year. He served as Georgia's president between 2004 and 2013. He left for the Unites States days before his presidential term expired, and has been living outside Georgia ever since. In spring 2014, Georgia accused Saakashvili of embezzling immense sums from the state budget, and launched a probe into the case. Saakashvili has denied the charges.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    insult, governor, Vladimir Putin, Mikheil Saakashvili, Odessa, Ukraine
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