Biden administration and allies can’t let Mikheil Saakashvili be held too long. Two decades ago, he emerged from obscurity to become a world hero of democratic breakthroughs. Georgia’s former president put into effect some of the most sweeping administrative and economic reforms. Vladimir Putin detested Saakashvili’s desire to anchor Georgia in the West. Putin feared color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine threatened his autocracy in Russia.
After invading Georgia, Putin used democratic institutions to bring Russian loyalists to power. Today, Russia occupies one-fifth of Georgia’s territory.