Politicians affiliated with Russian interests in Ukraine are no longer within Ukraine's borders but have sought refuge abroad, particularly in Vienna and Moscow, according to Olexiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).
"Groups associated with Russians have either settled in Vienna, where certain 'prominent' figures with direct connections to Russians have long established themselves, or in Moscow, where individuals are directly tied to the FSB," Danilov said in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda.
While he refrained from disclosing all the names within these groups, he did mention notable figures such as Vladimir Sivkovich, a politician from the era of the former president Viktor Yanukovych, along with the Klyuev brothers, Serhiy and Andriy, who were also associated with Yanukovych.
"They were and, to some extent, apparently, are still hostages. During a period when they initiated contact with certain individuals from the Russian Federation, it's important to recognise that a significant number of these individuals were affiliated with military insignias and positions," Danilov explained.
"This created a breeding ground for blackmail and subsequent processes, such as entering into joint business ventures or collaborative projects," he added.
He clarified that the full roster of names would become more apparent after the end of war. But the politician also believes that for Russia, influence on Ukraine will always be on the agenda.
Addressing the matter of Andriy Portnov, a former adviser to Yanukovych and pro-Russian politician, who has not yet faced Ukrainian sanctions, Danilov attributed this to the absence of requisite documentation from relevant authorities.
"We operate exclusively based on documented evidence. In the absence of proper documentation, whether pertaining to Portnov or any other individual, emotions cannot serve as a basis for decision-making. We require substantiated documents," the NSDC Secretary affirmed.
Danilov also commented on rumors about the possible holding of parliamentary elections in the near future, despite martial law. He noted that it is not possible to make sure that everyone can vote.
"The state should ensure that all citizens, without exception, participate in the electoral process. It is difficult for me to imagine how the guys who are now near Bakhmut, who are now on other sectors of the front, will vote."
"How do they physically do this? And if they don't vote, then it's not fair. They protect our country. So they have to leave and go somewhere to vote or what? Who imagines it? And those citizens who are currently outside our country who have temporarily left?»
"Therefore, the authorities do not plan to "hold elections in an unfair way."
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