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Ukraine indicts pro-Russian former prime minister

by Dmytro Basmat January 19, 2024 7:31 AM 2 min read
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov holds a press conference in Moscow, Russia on April 26, 2018. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Ukraine's former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has been indicted on charges of justifying Russia's invasion and advocating for the overthrow of the Ukrainian constitution, the Prosecutor General's Office announced on Jan. 18. The Prosecutor General's Office blurred the image of the accused, with Ukrainian media confirming it was Azarov who was indicted.

"Prosecutors have submitted to court an indictment in the criminal proceedings against the former prime minister of Ukraine," the Prosecutor General's Office statement read.

Azarov served as prime minister from 2010 until 2014 during the tenure of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych and now resides in Russia. A pro-Russian politician, Azarov resigned in 2014 amid Ukraine's EuroMaidan revolution.

Azarov regularly makes anti-Ukrainian statements and promotes pro-Kremlin narratives on Russian state propaganda channels.

"The ex-official calls the events in Bucha 'fake', calls for 'denazification' and a violent change of the Ukrainian government, and says that Putin's 'special operation' saved Donetsk from capture," the Prosecutor General Office's statement alleges.

Charges were first brought against Azarov in Oct. 2023 by Ukraine's Security Service, alongside one of the former prime minister's political assistant who, up until October, worked as a civil servant at one of the Kyiv city district's administrations.

Azarov will be tried in absentia, and no details were provided regarding when the trial would commence.

Former PM and current Kyiv official charged with spreading Russian propaganda
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) brought new charges against former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov for spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda and justifying Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the SBU announced on Oct. 12. A Kyiv city official, who worked as his assistant, was also charged.
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