Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's ex-president and former Ukrainian regional governor, has gone on a hunger strike after he was taken into Ukrainian custody, his lawyer said after meeting him at a detention center on Saturday, Sputnik International said.
Protesters defended the camp, which was set up in September, leading to clashes in which four policemen and an unknown number of civilians were wounded, Kiev police said in a statement. Zoryan Shkiryak, an advisor to the Interior Minister, has confirmed on Facebook Saakashvili's detention.
His detention was part of an operation "to disrupt a plan of revenge of pro-Kremlin forces in Ukraine", Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said on Tuesday. Vowing to stay until Mr. Saakashvili was released, they lit fires in the street to keep warm, just as protesters did in the winter of 2013-14 during an ultimately successful campaign to oust Ukraine's previous president, Viktor F. Yanukovych.
Protests in Ukraine focusing on endemic corruption are tapping a deep strain of discontent in a country prone to upheaval.
Saakashvili said he will not turn himself in, though prosecutors were welcome to see him at the camp outside the Supreme Rada where about 100 supporters gathered.
"He (Saakashvili) has to answer to investigators and to society regarding the accusations against him", Poroshenko said. Mr. Lutsenko, the prosecutor general, this week accused him of receiving $500,000 for his political activities from a fugitive Ukrainian businessman close to Mr. Yanukovych, who has lived in exile in Russian Federation since his ouster.
Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by Poroshenko in July while overseas and is now stateless.
Mr Saakashvili also faces the threat of extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on corruption charges.