Dubinsky under sanctions: what are the international scandal consequences for the Servant of the People

Oleksandr Dubinsky. Photo: UNIAN

Oleksandr Dubinsky. Photo: UNIAN

People's Deputy from the Servant of the People faction, Oleksandr Dubinsky, has found himself at the center of a scandal: the United States imposed economic sanctions against the People's Deputy. According to the US Department of the Treasury, he was featured in the process of interfering in the American presidential election.

The Page has collected information about what Dubinsky is accused of, his reaction and possible consequences.

What happened

In October 2020, the Anticorruption Action Center (AAC) applied to various international and Ukrainian organizations to impose personal Western sanctions against Dubinsky. In particular, Dubinsky has accounts in four Ukrainian banks—Alfa Bank, PrivatBank, Pivdenny Bank, and Universal Bank. The AAC described the inconsistency of the wealth belonging to the people's deputy, his mother, and wife, since banks must check the source of money in the accounts of high-risk public figures. If the bank marks suspicious transactions, the account may be blocked.

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In November 2020, an investigation by the website Nashi Groshi was published on Bihus.Info. According to the investigation, Dubinsky, his wife and his mother own 24 apartments with a total area of 2,000 square meters, land plots with an area of 70 acres, and 17 cars. Journalists believe that Dubinsky refused to file a declaration immediately after being elected People's Deputy because of the large number of cars and real estate that he, his wife and his mother own. Journalists note that a significant part of his mother's real estate appeared before the parliamentary elections.

On January 11, 2021, it became known that the United States imposed sanctions against 7 citizens and 4 media outlets of Ukraine: People's Deputy from the Servant of the People Oleksandr Dubinsky, former Derkach’s assistant Dmytro Kovalchuk, former prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s General Office Kostiantyn Kulyk, fugitive ex-People's Deputy Aleksandr Onyshchenko, Derkach's entourage—Anton Symonenko, Andrii Telizhenko, Petro Zhuravel, and websites—Era-Media, Only News, NabuLeaks, and Skeptic.

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According to the US Department of the Treasury, Onyshchenko gave Derkach recordings of conversations between former US Vice President Joe Biden and the fifth President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Dubinsky joined Derkach to spread and promote lies about Biden.

"The US Department of the Treasury for Foreign Assets Control has taken additional action against seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russian-linked foreign influence network that has ties to Andrii Derkach. Russian disinformation campaigns focused on American citizens are a threat to our democracy," the Department of the Treasury stated.

Because of this, the property and interests in the ownership of these objects, that are under the jurisdiction of the United States, are blocked. Organizations that are 50% or more owned by the aforementioned persons are also blocked.

And in January 2021, the Prosecutor’s General Office began criminal proceedings against Dubinsky under two articles: tax evasion and legalization (laundering) of proceeds obtained by criminal means.

Dubinsky is against

Dubinsky will sue the AAC on charges of high treason, Hromadske quotes Dubinsky's lawyer Tatiana Kostina.

According to Kostina, the facts that the AAC cited in its appeal to the American department are "false". In particular, the fact that "Dubinsky colluded with Derkach and tried to influence the presidential election campaign in the United States in 2019-2020. The very fact of this deceitful letter is already high treason," Kostina said, adding that this letter alone can be regarded as an appeal by the fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovych to Russia with a request to send troops to Ukraine, as a "call to overthrow authorities by external influence," she said.

Dubinsky himself wrote on Facebook that he would legally fight against such a decision.

"Unfortunately, false denunciations Of Shabunin’s henchmen and all other such swindlers, about allegedly my relationship with Derkach, temporarily, due to the objectively difficult situation in the United States, allowed corruption parasites to carry out another scam. Once again I declare that I have never interfered in elections in other states, including the American elections, and have never had anything to do with the publication or other similar actions of the so-called Poroshenko-Biden tapes," he wrote.

Consequences

Earlier, the AAC described the inconsistency of wealth belonging to Dubinsky, his mother, and wife, as banks must check the source of money in the accounts of high-risk public figures. If the bank marks suspicious transactions, the account may be blocked.

The Page contacted Alfa Bank, PrivatBank, Bank Pivdenny, and Universal Bank for comments on whether Dubinsky's accounts would be blocked. The Alfa-Bank’s press service told The Page that the bank secrecy law restricts the provision of information regarding the presence or absence of a bank account. PrivatBank reported that they would respond to the request within a few days.

Along with this, the public organization Democratic Axe also applied to banks, where Dubinsky is a client.

Fortunately, the announcement of sanctions against Dubinsky did not lead to tensions in bilateral relations between the United States and Ukraine. But Dubinsky became the first representative of the current Ukrainian government who came under US sanctions.

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