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11 Jan, 2024 10:59

Former Ukrainian prosecutor who accused Bidens of corruption could be assassinated – ex-MP

Viktor Shokin has dirt on the US president’s family and Kiev is using him as a bargaining chip, Andrey Derkach has claimed
Former Ukrainian prosecutor who accused Bidens of corruption could be assassinated – ex-MP

The former Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who was famously sacked by then-President Pyotr Poroshenko under pressure from US President Joe Biden, is being used by the current government in Kiev as a bargaining chip with Washington, controversial former MP Andrey Derkach has claimed in an interview.

Biden had Poroshenko sack Shokin in 2016, when he was vice president in the Obama administration, threatening to withhold a $1 billion loan unless his demands were met. The now-incumbent US president claimed that the Ukrainian prosecutor was corrupt, but also bragged about getting rid of the man. Critics of Biden have alleged that he used his office to derail an investigation into the gas firm Burisma, which infamously retained his son Hunter on a well-paid board position during his father’s tenure as Obama’s VP.

Derkach made his explosive claims in an interview recorded in Minsk, Belarus, with Italian-US journalist Simona Mangiante, published on Wednesday on X (formerly Twitter).

“Shokin is now a hostage on Ukrainian territory. As far as I know, he is not allowed to leave Ukraine. He is under the total control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU),” he claimed.

President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the US side, and President Vladimir Zelensky and his chief-of-staff Andrey Yermak on the Ukrainian side, are interested in information possessed by Shokin, according to Derkach.

He claimed that last October Shokin had contacts with two attorneys “working with the US Congress,” Jake Greenberg and Clark Abourisk. The SBU “recorded those conversations, where Shokin told the Congress about real criminal acts of Blinken and Biden, and about the corruption of the Biden family.”

The former official said he’d been tipped off about the surveillance by sources inside the SBU. Derkach is an intelligence officer by background and served in the Ukrainian agency before being elected to parliament.

He claimed that his sources had told him that “the question of liquidating Mr Shokin on the territory of Ukraine is under consideration.” He urged the US Congress to ensure the man’s safety and extraction from his home country.

Derkach spoke in Russian throughout the hour-long interview and touched on a number of sensitive aspects of US-Ukraine relations, including those he’d been personally involved in.

He was the official that published in 2020 what he claimed to be recordings of conversations that Biden and Poroshenko had in 2015-2016. In the interview this week he claimed that at the time he was acting with the blessing of Zelensky's office, which was seeking to discredit the former president.

Washington branded Derkach a Russian agent in 2022 and indicted him for allegedly interfering in the 2020 US presidential elections. Last year, Ukraine accused him of treason, also claiming he was working for Moscow. Zelensky stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship in January 2023.

Derkach has denied the accusations and claims in the interview that the Ukrainian charges against him were brought after Kiev failed to dispose of him by other means, on a direct request from Antony Blinken.