Transparency International: Yanukovych and Azarov granted Russian citizenship

The former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, who lost their power as a result of Euromaidan, have been granted Russian citizenship. Both men are now under state protection, Transparency International stated. If these reports are confirmed, Viktor Yanukovych will be able to avoid responsibility in Ukraine.

Many facts demonstrate that Yanukovych and Azarov have been granted Russian citizenship and that they are now under state protection, as highlighted by Transparency International’s campaign ‘Unmask the Corrupt’.

One of the important conclusions from the document is that the gradual lifting of sanctions, imposed against relatives and representatives within the immediate circle of Yanukovych and Azarov, allows their property to be listed for sale, which was allegedly purchased with dirty money.

According to the report, neither Ukraine nor other European countries managed to recover any compensation from the unjust enrichment of high-level officials within the former President of Ukraine's inner circle. It makes one think of the lack of efficiency of international measures for prosecuting corrupt officials.

The Kremlin hasn’t commented on the reports about the Russian citizenship of Yanukovych and Azarov. In early 2015, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office initiated the procedure for bringing Yanukovych to criminal liability in absentia for the creation of a criminal organization.

The PGO of Ukraine sent a request to Russia to extradite the former President of Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Justice stated that it didn’t receive any extradition documents demanding the return of Yanukovych to Kiev.

There was information on the Interpol website about the search for Yanukovych, his son Alexander and a number of officials within the inner circle of the ousted President. However, in July 2015, the information about Yanukovych disappeared from the Interpol database. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that the information was temporarily deleted in connection with the appeal against his international search.

  Russia, Yanukovich