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 "Onyshchenko tapes" are part of Kremlin's plan in Ukraine, - Russian opposition member Yashin

Ilya Yashin, member of Russian political opposition forces and ally of Alexey Navalny and late Boris Nemtsov, believes that the alleged tapes of Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko are a part of Kremlin's plan aimed at expansion into Ukraine.

Yashin wrote in his opinion article for The Washington Post, Censor.NET reports.

The politician has briefly outlined Russia's actions against Ukraine: attempts to have Kremlin-controlled president that failed after Yanukovych fled the country, propaganda messages about 'Kiev junta' and Ukrainian 'Nazis,' support for radical political groups in Ukraine, etc.

"This spring, the Kremlin will launch another piece of fake news at Kyiv - the so-called "Onyshchenko tapes." Former Ukrainian parliamentarian and natural gas baron Alexander Onyshchenko, a close associate of self-exiled former President Yanukovych, claims to possess audio recordings of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaking disparagingly of the Ukrainian people," Yashin wrote.

Read more: Liquidation of 'Onyshchenko's schemes': state earned six times more in four months than over three years, - Sytnyk

The politician believes that "in addition to being a useful Kremlin tool against Ukraine, Mr. Onyshchenko is seeking to distract attention away from the fact that Ukraine's national anti-corruption body accused him of embezzling millions of dollars of state money."

Stripped of his Parliament seat and accused of treason, Onyshchenko has fled Ukraine and is now a fugitive.

"If the United States and the rest of the free world do not act to thwart Mr. Putin's expansionism in Ukraine, the Balkans, Baltic and Caucasus will soon face the same fate," Yashin warns.

Read more: US Department of Justice has no plans to meet with Onyshchenko

On March 16, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) raided the office of Oleksandr Onyshchenko. It stated the searches were carried out under the pre-trial investigation into abuse of office during the sale of natural gas extracted jointly with Ukrhazvydobuvannia SE.

Later, the NABU requested the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) to lift the immunity of people's deputy Oleksandr Onyshchenko. Moreover, the NABU and the PGO claim Onyshchenko is involved in embezzlement of 1.6 billion hryvnia (approx. $64.02 million).

On June 16, Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko issued a motion requesting Verkhovna Rada's consent for criminal prosecution, detention, and pretrial confinement of Onyshchenko. On July 5, the parliament approved the detention and arrest of the people's deputy.

The suspect himself stated he was busy with the preparation for the upcoming Olympics and not going to react to NABU's actions. On July 29, Onyshchenko said he was in the UK and had applied for political asylum.

On Dec.1, Chief of the Main Investigation Department of the Security Service of Ukraine Hryhorii Ostafiichuk announced that the SBU had found elements of high treason in the actions of MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko.


 
 
 
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