Kiev accuses Ukrainian MP of state treason
Ukrainian law enforcement has accused opposition MP Ilya Kiva of state treason. The nation’s prosecutor general, Irina Venediktova, informed the lawmaker about her agency’s decision in a fiery Facebook post on Sunday, accusing him of “doing everything” to invite the “Russian aggressors” to Ukraine.
Kiva’s actions have dealt “colossal damage” to Ukraine, Venediktova said, warning that he will face “no other destiny” than arrest, extradition, and trial. She did not list any specific actions that earned the MP a place on Ukraine’s “list of suspects,” but instead accused him of “doing everything” to make Ukraine’s borders “change,” forcing millions of Ukrainians out of the country, and making “millions of Ukrainians hide in bombs shelters.”
Venediktova, apparently referring to the ongoing Russian military offensive in Ukraine, said her words were based on, “not emotion,” but a list of “facts.”
Kiva, a former member of the ‘Opposition Platform — For Life’ party, has long been a fierce critic of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Kiev’s pro-NATO policies.
In a recent interview, the MP slammed the US and NATO for using Ukraine as “bait” to provoke Russia into a conflict. Washington and its allies tricked Zelensky and then just threw Ukraine away, he said. “The worst thing is that the Ukrainian people have gone down” along with the government in Kiev, Kiva added.
The MP has long advocated for neutral status for Ukraine and opposed the nation’s aspirations to join NATO. After Moscow launched its miliary operation in Ukraine, Kiva accused Zelensky of provoking the bloodshed.
“As a citizen of Ukraine, I must fight for my nation to join NATO… But I do not want into NATO, I want to live in an independent country that remains non-aligned and can serve as a bridge between East and West,” Kiva said on March 1.
His statements put him at odds with his own party, which banished the MP from its ranks in late February, accusing him of “impeding” peace talks between Moscow and Kiev.
Speaking on the prosecutor general’s decision on Saturday, Kiva said he had long been aware of plans to accuse him of treason, and left Ukraine as early as January 30. The lawmaker first flew to Spain and then moved to Moscow. He also warned Ukrainian law enforcement that they will soon have to “answer for the travesty of justice.”