Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) agents went to Mr Saakashvili’s Kiev flat to arrest the now-stateless ex-governor of Odessa province. In a dramatic turn of events he climbed onto the roof and threatened to jump off.
Mr Saakashvili’s attempted arrest followed accusations that he has been plotting to oust Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko whom he has branded a “criminal, thief and traitor.”
“They want to kidnap me because I’ve risen up to protect the Ukrainian people,” Mr Saakashvili told a crowd gathered below.
The SBU eventually bundled him into a van but were blocked by hundreds of supporters surrounding the vehicle. After an hour-long stand-off in which tear gas was used on protesters, Mr Saakashvili was released from the van.
He then led the crowd to the Verkhovna Rada parliament to demand Mr Poroshenko’s resignation.