Pro-Russian MP Shufrych charged with treason — Ukraine’s SBU

Sitting Ukrainian MP Nestor Shufrych who used to represent the now-banned pro-Russian Opposition Platform — For Life (OPFL) has been formally accused of treason, Ukraine’s SBU Security Service reported on Telegram on Sept. 14.

The SBU said that it had, in cooperation with the State Bureau of Investigations and the Prosecutor General’s Office, gathered evidence concerning Shufrych’s alleged anti-Ukrainian activities.

According to their investigation, Shufrych is said to have maintained a close relationship and undertaken tasks assigned by the former Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Volodymyr Sivkovych, who allegedly coordinated Russian activities within Ukraine.

Read also: Ukrainian law enforcers detain former Crimea SBU department chief

Sivkovych fled to Moscow in 2014 and reportedly continued to coordinate subversive activities against Ukraine from there. He was notably the handler of former Chief of the SBU’s Crimean division, Oleh Kulinich, who is also suspected of treason and was personally apprehended by SBU Head Vasyl Maliuk.

One of Shufrych’s primary objectives was to engage in subversive activities within the realm of information. He allegedly systematically disseminated Kremlin narratives, asserting that the Ukrainian state was an “artificial entity” and insisting on a “common history” between Ukraine and Russia, while promoting the idea that Ukrainians and Russians were “one people.”

Currently, authorities are carrying out 45 searches at the residences of the accused and within his immediate circle.

Read also: Ex-deputy NSDC secretary Sivkovych to be tried for dispersal of Student Maidan

On Sept. 15, sources from within the SBU disclosed that searches were underway at Shufrych’s residences, and he is currently under suspicion of committing treason. However, he has not been arrested at this time. According to the SBU sources, Shufrych was alleged to be “one of the Kremlin’s mouthpieces in Ukraine.”

During the ongoing searches, a document outlining a plan for “autonomy” for the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts was reportedly discovered.

Journalist Yuriy Butusov has asserted that Shufrych plays a pivotal role in a case involving a Russian spy network, allegedly established by a Russian FSB officer and former Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Sivkovych.

In July 2022, the State Bureau of Investigations formally announced suspicions of treason against Volodymyr Sivkovych, who served as deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council from 2010 to 2013.

According to reports from NV’s sister publication Ukrainska Pravda, Sivkovych, currently in hiding in Russia, was purportedly preparing to assume the role of a “manager” for a fictitious occupation “government” following a hypothetical full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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