Communists seek to impound Ukraine president’s Russia assets

Candies of the Ukrainian company Roshen. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)
Communist Party MPs have addressed law enforcers with an open letter seeking to impound the Russian assets of Ukrainian billionaire-turned-President Petro Poroshenko in order to punish him for the ‘war crimes’ of the Ukrainian military.

The letter to Prosecutor General and the head of the Investigative Committee was signed by the deputy chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, Valery Rashkin, and Secretary Sergey Obukhov.

The lawmakers contend that Petro Poroshenko must bear personal responsibility for numerous crimes of the Ukrainian military, police and volunteer pro-Kiev formations. When he assumed the post of Ukrainian president in June 2014, he also became commander-in-chief of all forces, and now he must be behind the orders to shell and attack cities and towns in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions that result in deaths of civilians and destruction of infrastructure.

Other crimes the Communists hold Poroshenko responsible for are repeated artillery raids on Russian territory, attacks on Russian journalists and using methods of warfare that are banned by international conventions.

The two MPs also suspect Poroshenko of sponsoring the Ukrainian Right Sector movement – the main force behind last year’s coup in Kiev, comprised of extremist groups many of which are of clear fascist and neo-Nazi inclination. Russian Communists claim they possess information that Poroshenko’s representatives had paid money to Right Sector leaders as “gratitude” for the Maidan unrest, as well as for participation in punitive battalions fighting in southeastern Ukraine.

According to research conducted by Izvestia daily, Poroshenko possesses several factories in southern Russia, in particular two working enterprises producing confectionery and one starch-making facility. Another chocolate factory is now under construction.

According to Forbes magazine, Poroshenko ranks sixth among Ukrainian businessmen by net wealth, with a total worth of about $1.3 billion.

Lawmakers and experts who commented on the Communists’ initiative said it did not make sense without a criminal case against Poroshenko as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military.

When charges are pressed against him his assets can be impounded, but only the assets that are related to the criminal case. This can be applied to funds that are being used for financing the military or for something else that is directly related to crimes,” said the chair of the Moscow Board of Attorneys, Andrey Knyazev.

In September last year, the Investigative Committee impounded the Russian assets of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoysky, after he was charged in absentia with sponsoring terrorism and war crimes. After the Ukrainian coup, Kolomoysky was appointed governor of the Dnepropetrovsk Region and he is believed to be the main sponsor of volunteer formations that fight on the side of the Ukrainian military.

Earlier this week Russian mass media reported that the law enforcement have busted a gang of designer drug dealers who used one of Kolomoysky’s banks to launder money.