Zelenskyy strips ex-Yanukovych-era officials of Ukrainian citizenship
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, revoked the citizenship of several former ministers and officials from the time of Viktor Yanukovych (Photo:Володимир Зеленський/Telegram)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stripped Ukrainian citizenship from several ministers and officials from the administration of runaway former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The officials were found to have Russian citizenship, RBC-Ukraine outlet reported on Feb. 5, citing the head of state.
Citing sources in law enforcement, RBC-Ukraine said the following have lost their Ukrainian citizenship:
- Dmytro Tabachnyk - former Minister of Education and Science
- Vitaliy Zakharchenko - former Minister of Internal Affairs
- Andriy Klyuyev - former head of the presidential administration
- Oleksandr Yakymenko - former head of the Security Service of Ukraine
- Oleksandr Klymenko - former Minister of Revenues and Duties
"Today I signed the relevant documents to take another step to protect and cleanse our country from those who are on the side of the aggressor,” Zelenskyy said on his channel on the Telegram messenger.
“There are submissions from the security service regarding persons who have been identified as having Russian citizenship.”
He added that another legal step would be taken on Feb. 5 to implement the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council's sanctions decisions.
Zelenskyy also said that he was working to synchronize Ukraine's sanctions decisions with the jurisdictions of its partners.
"The enemies of the free world have no right to use the free world for their own interests," he said.
Yanukovych and large numbers of his government and administration officials fled Ukraine following the Revolution of Dignity popular uprising against his pro-Russian regime. Yanukovych in January 2019 was found guilty of treason by a Ukrainian court, which tried him in absentia.
The former president, who now lives in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Turning to military matters, President Zelenskyy also reiterated that the situation at the front was "getting tougher."
"Now is again the time when the occupier is throwing more and more of its forces to break our defense,” said the head of state.
“It is very difficult now in Bakhmut, Vuhledar, Lyman and other (parts of the front). But now, as every day of these 346 days, the resilience of our soldiers makes all the difference. ...To preserve all the elements of our resilience is to guarantee victory.”
Ukraine has recently launched a crackdown on corruption in the government, and also stripped several MPs from a banned pro-Russian political party of their mandates.
The Verkhovna Rada voted on Jan. 13 to deprive four Opposition Platform MPs of their parliamentary mandates: Viktor Medvedchuk, Taras Kozak, Renat Kuzmin, and Andriy Derkach.
According to Ukraine’s SBU security service, since the beginning of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, pre-trial investigations have been ongoing in 70 criminal cases against Opposition Platform officials involved in national security crimes.
As part of these proceedings, 30 Ukrainian citizens, including members of local councils at various levels, have been served notices of suspicion of criminal activities.
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