Just going to quote the important stuff sans spin.
The oddity (and perhaps problem) is that the new governor, Mikheil Saakashvili, is not just any out-of-towner. He is a former president of Georgia, on the other side of the Black Sea—although, after leaving office in 2013, he faces allegations of abuse of office (which he denies) and cannot safely return. Mr Saakashvili led the “rose revolution” of 2003 and tried to steer Georgia towards membership of the European Union and NATO—a strategy that led Russia’s Vladimir Putin into a war with his small Caucasian neighbour in 2008.Considering the past actions of Misha in Georgia- His placement in Odessa can indeed be construed as a provocation of Russia, by NATO
To begin with, it is unorthodox for the former president of one country to assume a relatively lowly job in another (though Ronald Mutebi, a Ugandan king, is said to have sold double glazing while in exile in London). It is a risk to entrust a sensitive governorship to a foreigner (or ex-foreigner: with the job, Mr Saakashvili acquired Ukrainian citizenship).
Odessa is coveted by Russian-backed separatists with whom Ukraine’s forces have been fighting in the east—violence that flared up again this week, after a brief lull. More than 40 people, mostly pro-Russian activists, died in a fire after a street confrontation in Odessa last year. It has been quietish since, but tensions simmer.
The appointment is an insult aimed at Mr Putin, who loathes Mr Saakashvili: during the war of 2008, Mr Putin reportedly threatened to “hang him by the balls”. At a moment when finding peace with Russia, however bellicose its leadership, is one of Ukraine’s main challenges, installing Mr Saakashvili in Odessa is a provocative move.
BBC video including his move on the break away provinces & Saakashvili eating his tie:
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