Korban gives three reasons why Zelenskyy may have stripped him of Ukrainian citizenship

10 August 2022, 03:58 PM
Gennady Korban (Photo:Gennady Korban/Facebook)

Gennady Korban (Photo:Gennady Korban/Facebook)

The head of the Territorial Defense in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, businessman Hennadiy Korban, has told the BBC there are three possible reasons why Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stripped him of his citizenship.

“It’s such a cynical move, it has to be explained,” said Korban in the interview, aired on Aug. 10.

“And if you don’t want to explain to me, at least explain it to those who ask this question,” he said, addressing the Ukrainian authorities.

According to Korban, Zelenskyy may have stripped him of Ukrainian citizenship because he had met with U.S. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, a Republican.

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“I met Victoria Spartz once, when she was passing through Dnipro,” Korban said. “She was traveling from Zaporizhzhya Oblast and naturally passed through the city of Dnipro, because the road lies through it. And indeed, she visited the Territorial Defense headquarters.”

Korban added that he didn’t discuss the Office of the President with her, any people working in the Office of the President, the situation in the country, or and domestic political issues.

Another possible reason for depriving him of citizenship could be his friendship with journalist Yuriy Butusov, Korban said.

“The second reason, which was articulated in the Ukrainian press, is my friendship with journalist Yuriy Butusov,” Korban told the BBC. “Well, let's speak frankly here - I have been friends with Butusov since 2010. I had a conflict with President Yanukovych. Butusov is a participant of the first and second Maidan. … But I have been friends with him since 2010, when Yanukovych came to power.”

According to Korban, the third and “most likely” reason why Zelenskyy deprived him of Ukrainian citizenship lies in a “systemic misunderstanding between the regional authorities and the Cabinet of Ministers” that “had already arisen during the war.”

According to him, the cities are actively participating in assisting the population.

“(For instance) they have to take care of the bodies of the dead,” said Korban. It’s not like they take them to the village to bury there... They bring them to the city, they need to do a forensic medical examination, then they need to bury the bodies in due time, but leave a file so that relatives can identify them. There’s a lot of complexity."

“This burden fell on the cities,” Korban said.

“But no one communicates with the cities,” he said. “There is no feedback from the Cabinet of Ministers, if you try to appeal and bring up a technical issue that needs to be resolved. They’re busy with other things.”

On July 21, People's Deputy Serhiy Vlasenko posted on Facebook an alleged copy of a decree by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy depriving ten people of Ukrainian citizenship.

According to the document, the list includes, apart from Korban, People's Deputy from the Servant of the People party Ihor Vasylkivsky, member of the banned party Opposition Platform for Life Vadim Rabinovich, and businessman Ihor Kolomoisky. The decree was not signed by the head of state.

On July 22, Korban was not allowed into Ukraine after a trip to Europe, and border guards confiscated his passport.

Korban's lawyer later said that the businessman had been denied entry as a "stateless person."

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