Ukraine names former Georgian president Saakashvili to govern Odessa, for some reason

Ukraine names former Georgian president Saakashvili to govern Odessa, for some reason
Doing the jobs Ukrainians won't do? Petro Poroshenko hands Mikhail Saakashvili citizenship documents and appoints him governor of Odessa on the same day. (Image: Ukraine via Reuters)

[Ed. – Boy, is this a “WTF??” move.  I mean, seriously, WTF???  If you’re going to be in Russia’s face, at least make it worthwhile.  This just looks gratuitous, like a wannabe-grand but empty gesture.]

Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko has appointed former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to be governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region, in a surprise move that is certain to raise hackles in Moscow. …

President Poroshenko made the announcement of Saakashvili’s appointment, standing alongside the Georgian at a ceremony in Odessa, where he described him as “a great friend of Ukraine”. He granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship to facilitate the move. …

Saakashvili replaces Ihor Palytsia, a businessman who was appointed governor in May last year after more than 40 people, most of them pro-Russian sympathizers, died in a fire in the port city during a confrontation with pro-Western demonstrators.

Poroshenko, who is pursuing a course of European integration to take his country out of the Russian orbit, has appointed several non-Ukrainian nationals to government posts including the finance ministry where U.S.-born Natalia Yaresko has taken over.

But this is the first non-Ukrainian by birth to be named to head what is in effect a provincial government. …

Like Poroshenko, Saakashvili, whose country fought a brief war with Russia in August 2008, is a strong proponent of NATO and European Union membership for his native Georgia and for Ukraine.

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