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Between elephant and donkey: Stake of Ukraine's ex-Prosecutor General Lutsenko

Author : Natalia Lebed

A new character, Yuriy Lutsenko, appeared in the scandal, where Trump, Biden, and Zelensky are already involved
12:48, 11 October 2019

Reuters

"Finally, Rudy Giuliani has realized that Ukraine’s former Prosecutor General Lutsenko simply lied to him. Giuliani officially endowed Lutsenko with the title "liar" in The New York Times,” ex-MP Serhiy Leshchenko wrote in his Telegram channel. 

Thus, a new character, Yuriy Lutsenko, appeared in the scandal, where Trump, Biden, and Zelensky are already involved. We are talking about mutual interference in the affairs of each other, both America and Ukraine.

Related: Volker testifies at U.S. Congress: Ukrainian politicians misinformed Giuliani about Biden case

At first, part of the Ukrainian establishment (among which was, by the way, the aforementioned Leshchenko) helped to expose incriminating evidence about Donald Trump, or rather, to the head of his election headquarters, Paul Manafort, who also worked for Ukraine-s ex-president Viktor Yanukovych.

Obviously, this was done in the interests of the American Democrats and, in particular, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. And then Trump himself blackmailed President Zelensky with non-provision of military assistance to Ukraine - in exchange for cooperation, he demanded an investigation into the corruption scandal, which involved the son of Joseph Biden, the opponent of Trump from the Democratic Party in the 2020 elections. Yuriy Lutsenko, a former high-ranking official of Ukraine, who is now either on the run or on vacation in London, also made fun of their company.

It seems that London, where Valeria Gontareva, the former head of Ukraine’s National Bank, lives, is becoming a new migration-center for Ukrainian high-ranked officials.

Do you speak English, Mr. Lutsenko?

Lutsenko left for London on September 30. Allegedly, only for a month and a half. And supposedly in order to "study English." Actually, as a private person, a retired prosecutor general can travel anywhere and learn anything.

Related: Giuliani claims State Department advised him to avoid Bohdan, - BuzzFeed

But there are two points. Firstly, in Ukraine, the State Bureau of Investigation has registered criminal proceedings against him. MP from ruling Servant of the People party David Arakhamia initiated a case against Lutsenko and not the State Bureau of Investigation is dealing with this. According to Arakhamia, Lutsenko shamelessly protected the gambling business.

Lutsenko pretended that he did not understand what it was about.

“Lutsenko perfectly understands that if he stays in Ukraine, he will soon go behind the bars,” political analyst Kost Bondarenko states. As for London, this is also a good town, and certainly a better alternative than Ukrainian jail.

Related: Biden case: Democrats want Giuliani to testify in Senate

Yes, I do!

Before boarding a plane to London, Lutsenko gave an interview to the BBC. The last question of the journalists was whether the ex-prosecutor is ready to testify in the United States in the case of the impeachment of President Trump. Lutsenko answered: “Why not. I am absolutely open and I know that all my actions were legal, all my statements were legal, I’m not afraid of anything. I’m afraid for my country, because, it seems, Ukraine has now become a victim in a big American storm. I want to protect my country," he said.

However, it seems that Yuriy Lutsenko wants to protect himself first of all. Because with regard to Trump and his "antipode" Biden, the former prosecutor changes his testimony to diametrically opposite. And Trump would not like this.

But Biden might like it if he (or someone else from the Democrat camp) takes the presidency next year. But while America is stormed with the elections, Lutsenko is waiting in the UK.

“But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member. U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money,” The Hill wrote.

Related: Giuliani to decide whether he would testify on Ukraine in Congress

Trump intervened, but it did not help

“When Mr. Lutsenko sat down with Mr. Giuliani in New York in January, he recalled, his expectations were confirmed: The president’s lawyer wanted him to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter. It was the start of what both sides hoped would be a mutually beneficial relationship — but one that is now central to the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump. Sign up for The Interpreter Subscribe for original insights, commentary and discussions on the major news stories of the week, from columnists Max Fisher and Amanda Taub. SIGN UP Mr. Trump and his allies have been fixated on Ukraine since the 2016 American election, convinced that the country holds the key to unlock what they view as a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump. Mr. Giuliani in particular has viewed Ukraine as a potentially rich source of information beneficial to Mr. Trump and harmful to his opponents, including Mr. Biden,” The New York times writes.

“Sometimes the mayor is very wise, but sometimes he gets carried away,” he said of Mr. Giuliani. Asked about this on Friday, Mr. Giuliani had a simple retort: “Liar,” NYT summarizes.

According to political analyst Oleksiy Yakubin, Yuriy Lutsenko most likely decided to play along with the Democrats after "failed to agree with the Republicans." "Prior to this, the ex-Prosecutor General tried to build bridges with the current owner of the White House, and after losing to Petro Poroshenko in the election, Lutsenko gave an interview to the American publication that the actions of Biden’s son are not scary from the point of view of Ukrainian law, although before that he said some different things," Yakubin notes.

Related: Two assistants of Giuliani tied with Ukraine were arrested in the U.S.

However, all these things have long been obvious to us and the Americans. Therefore, the only intrigue is whether Biden’s entourage would be interested in Lutsenko? And, of course, will Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation find something specific in the gambling business?

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