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    Ukraine opposition to send Georgian leader neckties to chew on

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    Ukraine's opposition party has pledged to send 365 neckties to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was recently caught on camera nervously chewing his garment while discussing the Georgian-Russian conflict.

    KIEV, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's opposition party has pledged to send 365 neckties to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was recently caught on camera nervously chewing his garment while discussing the Georgian-Russian conflict.

    Saakashvili has caused an internet sensation with his tie-chewing antics, captured during a phone conversation with a top Western official and aired by the BBC, and also over footage of him running in apparent terror after speaking to reporters, believing he was about to be attacked by Russian planes.

    Party of Regions lawmaker Boris Kolesnikov told a crowd of supporters in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk: "We have already bought Saakashvili spiked running shoes, similar to those worn by the Jamaican sprinter who won the Olympic 100 meters. We will also buy him 365 neckties, so that he will have enough to chew on every day of the year."

    After the lawmaker's speech on the main square in Donetsk, the center of eastern Ukraine's coal mining industry, five heavy goods vehicles left the square carrying aid for children in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia, devastated by Georgia's August 8 military offensive.

    Although Ukraine's pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko has been vocal in his support for Saakashvili and his condemnation of Russia's large-scale retaliation to Georgia's offensive, his stance has not been backed my Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, once his closest ally.

    Earlier this week the president's office accused the premier of betraying national interests by refusing to speak out against Russia.

    Since the start of Russia's military peace enforcement operation, which has been resoundingly condemned by NATO, supporters of Georgia have held low-key rallies against the "Russian occupation" of Georgia near Kiev's Independence Square. However, the protests have inspired little local support.

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