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Pro-Russian lawmaker Shufrych accused of financing Russia's National Guard in Crimea

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 8, 2024 4:47 PM 2 min read
Nestor Shufrych stands in a glass chamber during a court session on Oct. 11, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Pro-Russian lawmaker Nestor Shufrych, who is already suspected of treason, was charged with financing Russia's National Guard in occupied Crimea on Feb. 8, the State Bureau of Investigation reported.

Shufrych, elected for the now-banned party Opposition Platform — For Life, was arrested on Sept. 15, 2023, after being accused of subversive activities against Ukraine.

Shufrych was spreading pro-Kremlin narratives in Ukraine, such as that Ukraine is an artificial entity or that Russians and Ukrainians are a single nation, among other accusations, according to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Ukrainian law enforcement has found new evidence of Shufrych's "anti-Ukrainian activities," the bureau wrote.

According to the investigation, Shufrych paid Russia's National Guard for guarding his elite real estate in Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

"In just 3 months of 2016, the company controlled by him paid the occupiers more than half a million Russian rubles (over $5 million) for these services," reads the report.

The real estate in question is an unfinished recreational facility with a total area of over 4,500 square meters, located near the sea in the Crimean village of Simeiz, according to the bureau. The building purportedly lies on a land plot of 1.5 hectares that borders the elite property of exiled pro-Russian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk.

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Shufrych bought the property from enterprises whose beneficial owner was Medvedchuk's wife, Oksana Marchenko, and the relevant contract was signed by a company headed by Shufrych's personal lawyer, the bureau said.

The Shufrych-controlled company then allegedly signed a contract with Russia's National Guard for the protection of the property and regularly paid taxes and fees to the Russian state budget.

The lawmaker and his lawyer were charged with "financing actions committed for the purpose of violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or seizure of state power, change of territory or state border of Ukraine."

When announcing Shufrych's treason charge in September last year, the SBU said the lawmaker had cooperated with a former Ukrainian official and an agent of Russian intelligence, Volodymyr Sivkovych.

Sivkovych, who served as the deputy chairman of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council from 2010 to 2013 under pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, was charged with treason in July last year. He is currently hiding in Russia.

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