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Prosecutor General: Yanukovych took $32 billion to Russia, financing separatism in Ukraine
Kyiv Post ^ | April 29, 2014 | Ivan Verstyuk

Posted on 04/29/2014 6:35:44 AM PDT by No One Special

Acting Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnitsky said that ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and his inner circle took $32 billion in cash with them to Russia, some of which is being used finance a pro-Russian separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.

Disgraced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage, whose criminal regime was toppled on Feb. 22 after the three-month EuroMaidan revolution, took $32 billion in cash to Russia, said Ukraine’s Acting Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnitsky in an interview with the Financial Times on April 28.

He believes Yanukovych is using this money to finance the pro-Russian separatist movement in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Russia continues to harbor the ex-president who authorities have implicated in murder and grand corruption. Makhnitsky added that Russia refuses to cooperate with Ukraine to extradite the wanted former head of state who fled overnight on February 21-22.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has maintained that Yanukovych is still the legitimate president of Ukraine and doesn’t recognize the interim government in Kyiv. Russia invaded and annexed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in March-April, which is a part of Ukraine, after Yanukovych’s get away.

Interestingly, Ukraine’s state budget for 2014 is only $31.5 billion, according to the April 29 hryvnia rate on the interbank exchange market. The country urgently needs financial assistance to cover the $24.4 billion fiscal gap, Prime Minister ArseniyYatsenyuk earlier stated. Recovering the money with which Yanukovych and his inner circle allegedly absconded to Russia may contribute greatly to solving this problem.

Meanwhile, Yanukovych’s official tax declaration for 2012 mentioned he earned just some $2.5 million, ostensibly comprised mostly of book sales that few Ukrainians have actually seen.

“Today the Russian Federation is officially harboring criminals, such as Yanukovych, (former Prosecutor General Viktor) Pshonka, (ex-Interior Minister Vitaliy) Zakharchenko, and does not recognize them as guilty,” said Makhnitsky.

Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Chayka publicly stated that Russia will not extradite them because they are considered legitimate Ukrainian government officials.

In mid-April, the U.S. State Department announced that the U.S. had sent a group of FBI agents and financial and legal officials to Kyiv to facilitate the return of Ukrainian assets from abroad. An asset recovery team from Great Britain is also participating in the project. Londond hosts a two-day meeting this week devoted to recovering Ukrainian assets. The U.S., UK and Ukrainian representatives are participating.

Austria, Lichtenstein and Switzerland have already agreed to help Ukraine recover assets which had been illegally acquired by the previous regime and are currently kept in these countries.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, Swiss banks had $2 billion of capital that came from Ukraine on their accounts. Maknitsky believes that a substantial amount of this money, if not all of it, is of illegal origin.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine in turn has launched a number of criminal cases. Besides, it has arrested personal property of Viktor Yanukovych and his older son Oleksandr Yanukovych, former presidential chief of staff Andriy Klyuyev and ex-Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk. Their accounts in Ukrainian banks, containing some Hr 1.3 billion, $9.6 million and 214,000 euros, have been arrested as well.

Maknitsky believes some of this money was spent on suppressing the EuroMaidan protests.

In March, Russian news website Sobesednik reported that Yanukovych paid $52 million for a luxurious residence in Rublyovka, a posh suburb of Moscow. This may come as a consolation for losing Mezhyhirya, Yanukovych’s palatial residence north of Kyiv. Its estimated value is $1 billion, though the former president says he paid only $3.2 million for it.

On Feb. 23, when Yanukovych’s regime was ousted, some central bank officials tried to take a substantial amount of cash and gold out of the NBU’s headquarters in Kyiv in a car, but they were caught.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: russia; ukraine

1 posted on 04/29/2014 6:35:44 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

This really is all about money. Thieves like Putin and Yanukovych simply can’t have a modern Ukraine while they collect the fruit of Motherland and deposit it in their personal bank accounts.

2 posted on 04/29/2014 6:42:32 AM PDT by lodi90
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To: No One Special

As always with politicians of any party, nation or persuasion,”FOLLOW THE MONEY!”

3 posted on 04/29/2014 6:47:23 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: lodi90

Consider the source. Y’s administration may have been corrupt, but the new one installed by a coup is hardly any better. The claim is propaganda for consumption in the West. The real struggle is just between two gangs of crooks, one that was elected and supported by Russia and the other supported by the fascist EU and Obama administration. People might as well get spun up over which gang controls Liberia. There are no “White Hats”.

4 posted on 04/29/2014 7:00:22 AM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: achilles2000

People might as well get spun up over which gang controls Liberia. There are no “White Hats”.

Your armchair moral relativism is a diversion. Putin has a long history of murdering to support his kleptocracy. The current wave of bombing, kidnap and murder across E. Ukraine by Putin’s agents is in no way analogous to what happened in Kiev. Too suggest so is to ignore the past record of Putin’s behavior.

5 posted on 04/29/2014 7:17:56 AM PDT by lodi90
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: lodi90

It isn’t moral relativism; in some conflicts there are no “good guys”. While Putin is no saint, Obamalini and the EU set up riots and coup. Those resulted in deaths, bombing, and kidnapping. In fact, they set this whole train wreck in motion. Putin’s behavior is hardly worse than the EU/Obamalini administration power grab. Getting involved in cheerleading for the stooges in Kiev is about as sane as getting excited about the “Arab Spring”, another foreign policy extravaganza brought to you by Obamalini & friends and sold with the same PR spin machine.

This is a foreign policy that only an unrepentant McCain voter could love.

7 posted on 04/29/2014 9:52:44 AM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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