Ukrainian reporter Sergii Leshchenko wrote a scathing column for the Kyiv Post about Rudy Giuliani’s sketchy contacts in the country.
Giuliani is said to be under criminal investigation in the Second District of New York, while two of his associates have already been indicted and arrested. Now he’s become part of the impeachment scandal President Donald Trump faces.
Leshchenko explained that among the shady characters that Giuliani has surrounded himself with, Yuriy Lutsenko, a veteran politician and ex-prosecutor general, is by far one of the worst.
“Lutsenko has become an informant for the conspiracy theory designed by Trump’s entourage, now broadcast on One America News TV channel,” he wrote. ‘As a journalist who has been covering Ukrainian politics for 20 years, I maintain that Lutsenko and the rest of Rudy Giuliani’s interlocutors in Ukraine are not in the least trustworthy.”
He went on to say that the most concerning is that Lutsenko has ties to Moscow, which is working to convince people that they had no role in hacking the 2016 election in the U.S., and it was all Ukraine’s fault.
“This scenario is actively supported by part of the corrupt Ukrainian establishment,” wrote Leshchenko. “Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that Lutsenko plays a key role in a geopolitical disturbance that is hurting Ukraine. The previous time happened 20 years ago.”
According to Leshchenko’s report, Lutsenko is a key piece in Giuliani’s conspiracy theory against former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Many Ukrainians may be surprised why Lutsenko plays in what is clearly a pro-Russian scenario. In fact, for those who closely follow Ukrainian politics, Lutsenko’s connections to the Russian elite won’t come as a surprise,” he wrote.
He recalled that in 2000 Lutsenko was linked to an audiotape scandal with former President Leonid Kuchma, who was trying to silence a journalist and critic who was eventually found beheaded in the woods near Kyiv.
“Lutsenko was the person who prepared the recordings for publication for a press conference,” the reporter explained. “He pressed the play button on the tape recorder, after which the whole country heard Kuchma’s voice. When mass street protests followed against Kuchma, Lutsenko was one of their leaders.”
Russia wasn’t the only country that would benefit from the actions. The pro-West government under Victor Yushchenko and Ukraine lost its relationship with the United States. “Kuchma was driven further into the Kremlin’s orbit, after which he named Viktor Medvedchuk, his chief of staff. Medvedchuk, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been the main operator of Russian influence in Ukraine.”
He explained that it was “ironic” that Lutsenko would then try and get the prosecutor general dismissed, blaming him for sabotaging the investigation into the murder of the journalist. Even after Lutsenko became the head of the Prosecutor General’s Office, he still couldn’t find the people behind the murder.
“Lutsenko repeatedly cooperated with pro-Russian forces throughout his career. After entering parliament in 2002, he became friendly with Andriy Klyuyev, one of the top members of the Party of Regions, led by pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych, the future president. At that time, Lutsenko was also the Socialist Party’s curator in the Donetsk Oblast, where Klyuyev and the Party of Regions had the most influence,” he went on. “Klyuyev later became the last head of the Yanukovych administration before the bloody massacre on the EuroMaidan in February 2014 made both him and the disgraced president flee Ukraine. He is now hiding from justice in Russia.”
Klyuyev’s case was never heard in court, while Lutsenko was the prosecutor general.
According to Leshchenko, that’s only the beginning. Check out his full expose in his Kyiv Post column.