Allegedly stripped of citizenship, former Kolomoisky’s ally barred from entering Ukraine

22 July, 06:42 PM
Gennady Korban (Photo:dniprorada.gov.ua)

Gennady Korban (Photo:dniprorada.gov.ua)

Gennady Korban, head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Territorial Defense Force, and formerly close confidant of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, can’t cross into Ukraine from Poland, Korban said in a Facebook post on July 22.

This came days after an alleged copy of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decree was leaked, which strips both Korban, Kolomoisky and several other officials of Ukrainian citizenship.

“I’m currently at the Smolnica border crossing (between Ukraine and Poland),” said Korban.

“I still think this a misunderstanding or some sort of a prank. My Ukrainian passport was confiscated, and I was given a (corresponding) document. I’m not being let back home, into Ukraine.”

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Korban said it means he can’t join his parents back in Dnipro, and mentioned his bona fides in defending against the Russian invasion by commanding regional Territorial Defense Force units.

“I’d like to address the President of Ukraine: could this misunderstanding... could this be resolved?” Korban pleaded with Zelenskyy.

In a comment to Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda, Korban’s lawyer said that SBU (Ukraine’s security service) and State Bureau of Investigation agents have arrived at the border checkpoint.

Earlier on July 21 Ukrainian MP Serhiy Vlasenko leaked the alleged presidential decree on Facebook. If proven genuine, the document strips Korban, Kolomoisky, and Vadym Rabinovych of Ukrainian citizenship. Rabinovych is the leader of the now-banned OPZH pro-Russian political party. The same measure is also applied to Ihor Vasylkivsky, an MP from the ruling Servant of the People party. The decree features no explanation and has no sign of the president.

The president’s official website still has no mention of any such decree. President’s office nor confirms nor denies the decree exists. However, presidential advisor Sergii Leshchenko confirmed the decree existed and assumed Vlasenko might have got it from the Central Election Commission where it was sent.

Kolomoisky did not respond to NV’s request for a comment. Ukrainian oligarch was seen as Zelenskyy’s main baker during the presidential election campaign. Numerous criminal cases in Ukraine and the United States, as well as quite notorious public image made Kolomoisky a rather toxic ally for Zelenskyy. Soon after he was elected, Zelenskyy tried to distance from Kolomoisky. Korban is former ally of Kolomoisky. Together with the current mayor of Dnipro Boris Filatov, Korban used to be a deputy of Kolomoisky when he was Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor in 2014.

Korban broke the ties with the oligarch during the second tour of presidential elections in 2019, Korban told Babel news website.

Eric Malinowski is contributed to this story.

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