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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Sept. 15 that it had charged pro-Russian lawmaker Nestor Shufrych with treason for subversive activities against Ukraine.
The SBU reported that Shufrych, elected for the now-banned party Opposition Platform — For Life, worked closely 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.
According to the SBU, one of Shufrych's main tasks was spreading pro-Kremlin narratives in Ukraine, such as that Ukraine is an artificial entity or that Russians and Ukrainians are a single nation.
The lawmaker faces up to 15 years in prison.
The SBU added that the searches of Shufrych's premises are ongoing. Several Ukrainian outlets reported on Shufrych's charges and on the SBU searches shortly before the official announcement.
Ukrinform wrote that according to its sources in the Security Service, the search led to the discovery of a document dated July 2014, outlining a scheme for the "autonomy" of Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The document suggested that the two oblasts should hold separate elections and form their own government structures.
It was signed by Shufrych and by Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician who had been detained by the authorities last year and exchanged for Ukrainian military prisoners.
The SBU officers also discovered prohibited Russian awards and symbols during the search, including St. George's ribbons, medals, and Russian military uniforms, Ukrainska Pravda reported, publishing photos of the search provided by a law enforcement source.