Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s private jet arrived in Minsk from Moscow on Monday afternoon, Ukrainskaya Pravda reported, referencing flight data from Flight Radar 24. The pro-Kremlin politician’s Dassault Falcon 900C has been active over the last week, visiting Orenburg, Murmansk, Sochi and St. Petersburg. It is unknown whether Yanukovych himself was aboard the jet.
There has been speculation that Moscow ultimately plans on reinstating Yanukovych as President of Ukraine, who experts believe would serve as a puppet of the Kremlin. These assertions have been voiced by various western journalists as well as Ukrainian intelligence. Such a plan presupposes a Russian victory in Ukraine, which has proven to be far from certain.
Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia in 2014 after he and his government were overthrown following Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. As president of Ukraine, he was widely criticized for severe corruption and cronyism. His decision to establish closer ties with Russia in late 2013 instead of signing a political association and free trade agreement with the EU served as the catalyst for the Revolution of Dignity.