Saakashvili resigns as governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili tendered his resignation as governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region on Monday, accusing highly-placed officials in Kiev of obstructing his attempts at reform, Reuters reports.

Saakashvili, who is widely credited with cracking down on graft when he was president of Georgia from 2004-2013, was appointed Odessa governor in May 2015 by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Saakashvili has since repeatedly accused the Kiev leadership of lacking a real commitment to reform.

Vowing to continue to fight corruption which he said went to the very top of Ukraine’s establishment, he told journalists: “I have decided to tender my resignation and start a new stage of the fight. I am not giving up.”

In a clear rebuke of Poroshenko, he said: “In reality, in Odessa region, the President personally supports two clans.”

He said the work of reform-minded public officials had been repeatedly thwarted by higher authorities in Kiev interested in preserving the status quo.

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