"Ukraine clearly demonstrates a visible bond between corruption and crimes against humanity, and subsequently war crimes.
"In 2010, President Yanukovych came to power in Ukraine. The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine believes it was he who created the state mafia to ensure personal enrichment through appropriation of state property and embezzlement of public funds. According to investigators, an equivalent of country's annual budget had been stolen," Lutsenko said at a round table meeting held on the sidelines of the 15th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute in The Hague, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.
"After massive peaceful protests broke out in the capital in 2014, the only reason behind them was corruption. The authorities resorted to beating and then shooting down more than 100 people in the heart of the city. Here we see the connection between the group that intended to pursue graft and resorted to committing violence and killings and corruption that led to very serious crimes, including murder," the prosecutor general noted.
He added that Yanukovych fled to Russia where he "called for the occupation of our country."
"The annexation of Crimea by Russia's armed forces followed, and tens of thousands of Russian troops invaded the territory of our country. All this involved massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. Millions of people were displaced, thousands, including civilians, were killed. We see how corruption entails war crimes and crimes against humanity," Lutsenko observed.
He said that the purpose of the Ukrainian delegation in The Hague was to "ask the competent court to hear the case that began with massive official corruption and grew into serious crimes against the people and then into war crimes and crimes against humanity."