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February 7, the former head of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) Valentyn Nalyvaichenko gave testimony in the Obolonsky court of Kyiv. The former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is being tried in absentia on high-treason charges in this court. Earlier, the prosecution asked the court about Nalyvaichenko's interrogation. Find out the key points of the ex-head of the Special Services, who guided the body after Yanukovych’s escape.
On the decision of the Council on Yanukovych’s "relinquishment"
At the time of this decision, I became a people's deputy of Ukraine of the 7th convocation, and I have consciously voted for this decision. My decision was preceded by crimes against people, against humanity, both in Kyiv and other cities that took place on 18, 19, 20 February 2014. As a people's deputy, I am still convinced that former President Yanukovych and the top leadership of Ukraine are responsible for the crimes committed against people, against humanity.
On the circumstances of Yanukovych's escape from Ukraine
Currently, yes [these circumstances are known]. At the time of carrying my people's deputy duties, the details were not known, as well as in the first days of my appointment to the post of the SBU chairman (from February 24). At the moment – we might know from the media – according to the results of the SBU investigation, since February 25, 2014, he was in Kharkiv, after that he left to Donetsk, and then to Crimea. He has left Crimea with the help of Russian military, the occupation troops left the territory of Ukraine.
About his visit to Crimea in February 2014
It was a decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. I as the people's deputy and then appointed Minister of Internal Affairs (Arsen Avakov, ed.) went to Crimea. At that time, I have acted exclusively within the framework of the people's deputy powers and also on my own convictions. I am convinced that Viktor Yanukovych must respond before the Ukrainian people and before the court for crimes against humanity, for shooting people, for using the law enforcers, for involving Russian special services on our territory and for many other things that happened. I know that it is being investigated by the prosecutor's office of both the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and by Ukraine’s Prosecution General.
On Russian military equipment in Crimea
I confirm that after coming to Crimea (Ukraine) as the people's deputy on the night of February 22/23 I have seen with my own eyes the Russian military equipment on the streets and on the roads of Crimea. I confirm the information about the officers of the state protection department, their testimony, which we have heard from them together with the Minister Avakov. I confirm that we, as part of a group with the Minister of Internal Affairs, visited and checked the state residence near Yalta where Yanukovych could have been if he had stayed on duty. He was not there. I also confirm that at that time the Russian occupation has already fully started on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Yakymenko, the SBU head, who fled from Kyiv, was also in Crimea at that time; as well as his first deputy head of the anti-terrorist center, also fled to Russian military bases. Moreover, they acted as collaborators, accomplices of Russian aggression in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The testimony, evidence base and several volumes of operative materials are documented, signed by me, and transferred to the Prosecution General within the framework of the respective proceedings. Today, if necessary, I am ready to voice and make public all the declassified copies.
On Russian agents in the Ukrainian special services
In my opinion, back in 2009, agreements with Russian FSB of that allowed them to stay on the territory of Crimea, I have terminated them, consciously understanding that the special services of a foreign state are the vanguard of future aggression. And they did not only terminate the agreements but also expelled all FSB officers from Ukrainian Crimea. In my opinion, when Yanukovych and his law enforcers came to power during the preparatory phase of aggression began in early 2010. This means that Yanukovych and the new leaders of the power bloc returned Russian FSB to Crimea, reinstated these agreements. They restored full cooperation. And only those persons, who were either under the influence of the Russian special services or directly cooperated with them, were appointed to the posts of the SBU and the central apparatus. But they cooperated not within the framework provided by the legislation of Ukraine but in the framework of preparing the subsequent occupation and aggression in Crimea and other territories of Ukraine.
On the seizure of administrative buildings in the Crimea
On the building of the Crimean parliament. According to the video materials obtained by counterintelligence, I confirm that I was informed by the new Ukrainian counterintelligence about the video materials. Then I clearly reported everything to the state leadership, including the acting President Turchynov. The video clearly showed how the police transfers of the arms to the disguised Russian special forces. That is, the saboteurs' occupation took place, the local Crimean police handed the arms to the Russian officers of the Armed Forces, and that is how they have obtained control over the building.
On the role of Yanukovych in Russian aggression in Donbas
In my opinion, as a witness, Yanukovych has consciously acted and surrendered both Crimea and Ukraine. I am convinced, he was not influenced (by Russia, - Ed.). I will quote one of the letters, which I declassified. In this letter, which I signed and sent to the Attorney General of Ukraine on January 22, 2015, I reported on the first results of investigations into criminal proceedings, including on Russian intervention in events during the Revolution of Dignity and preparation for the aggression and occupation of Crimea. In my report, I clearly noted the evidence base. In my opinion, this could not happen without the former president. In December 2013 and January 2014, three high-ranking groups of Russian officers and FSB generals came to Ukraine. 30 generals and officers have visited Ukraine for three times, then 6 officers, and then 7 officers came. They did not just visit Ukraine with the permission, I suppose, of Yanukovych. They have visited the antiterrorist training ground of the SBU near Kyiv, in Pyatykhatki. The evidence base is collected and attached to the letter. They were in Kyiv in the central office, and most importantly – these were those officers and generals of the Russian FSB, who were responsible for protecting the constitutional system of the Russian Federation... These are not just theoretical conversations. Aggression was prepared for three times, even before the end of the victory of the Revolution of Dignity, a large group of the Russian FSB representatives was already working here.
On the betrayal of the Crimean command staff of the SBU
I remember that since the government connection lines were turned off, I publicly appealed to remain faithful to the oath and not to join the FSB. Up to 20% of the Security Service officers, who remained faithful to the oath, went to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. It is easy to verify this information as we settled them in sanatoriums and in SBU dormitories, we knew everyone personally. ... The command staff has betrayed, the leadership gave them direct orders to stay. From February 21, Yakymenko (ex-head of the SBU, - Ed.) already was in Sevastopol; he fled there even before Yanukovych’s escape, and they provided direct orders, contrary to those, voiced by Ukrainian legitimate authorities. I was one of the first who ordered the units of the Security Service. This was a conscious choice of each SBU officer.
On the beginning of the annexation of Crimea
I can confirm that since February 20 the occupation, aggression of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation took place; first of all, the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, in the number of 24 thousand people. Second, contract soldiers, subversive groups. Third, the FSB of Russia, their role was to take the SBU and other law enforcement agencies under control, directly administer them or through individuals who betrayed the Ukrainian oath and took the side of the aggressor. And one more component is the separatist anti-Ukrainian organizations that were not just restored during the Yanukovych era, but returned to the territory of Crimea and acted, in my opinion, as the fifth column of Russian aggression.
About the Russian law enforcers on Maidan
I confirm that from the beginning of February (2014 - Ed.), almost every night the armed special troops, well-dressed and equipped with Berkut identification signs of Ukrainian special forces, stood against us. In addition, I confirm that special forces from the Russian Federation were disguised among them. They gathered near the October Palace, Russian chevrons were covered with Ukrainian uniform, which was issued by Zakharchenko’s order (then head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs - ed.). I also confirm that the officers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the FSB of Russia have not just occasionally came to Ukraine, to Kyiv in December 2013, January, February 2014; they came with weapons. The witnesses clearly indicated that they had the appropriate weapons with them, Russian officers of the FSB, with the permission of the then leadership of Ukraine, including involvement in the shootings on the Maidan.