When Rudy Giuliani, U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, showed up in Kyiv unannounced last week, it raised eyebrows in the city, but hardly made it into local headlines.

It was clear what Giulini came for. For months, he had been attempting to dig up dirt on Trump’s Democratic rivals, and now was looking for more discrediting information that he could use to undermine the ongoing impeachment inquiry against his boss. 

But according to the One America News (OAN) network, a right-wing television channel that accompanied Giuliani on his trip, he almost risked his life “seeking the truth” in Ukraine.

While traveling in Kyiv, Giuliani was followed by soldiers, journalists, oligarch Victor Pinchuk and even financier and philanthropist George Soros, OAN reported. Those claims — which appear blatantly false — have left many Ukraine watchers shaking their heads.


As soon as the news of Giuliani’s visit broke in Kyiv on Dec. 4, 1,000 troops came out to patrol the city, OAN correspondent Chanel Rion claimed in a news segment that aired on Dec. 8 and seems to be written according to the playbook of Russian disinformation mouthpieces like RT or Russia-24. 

While some journalists did try to find Giuliani in luxury hotels and cigar bars, it appears that Giuliani held his meetings at “a secure compound outside of Kyiv,” according to OAN. 

No large contingent of military personnel was seen in Kyiv on the days of Giuliani’s visit. 

“As media started closing in on our location, the security decided we needed to leave the country,” Rion continued. “We chartered a midnight jet to Vienna and sped to the airport.” 

Near the terminal, Rion said, they noticed a line of black Mercedeses and were told that Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk was seen entering one of the cars. Moreover, the Hungarian-born American billionaire, philanthropist, and boogeyman of global anti-Semitic conspiracy theories George Soros was also spotted there, Rion said citing two eyewitnesses. 


“The reasons for their being at the airport as we were departing have not been determined,” Rion said.  At the same time, she noted they could not confirm the presence of two billionaires at the airport. 

Read more: Trump’s attorney Giuliani collects more dirt on visit to Kyiv 

One America News Network is a small, independently-run right-wing cable television channel. In it, Giuliani appears to have found an outlet for his series “dismantling the impeachment inquiry.” 

As part of the “exclusive investigative series,” Giuliani and Rion interviewed former Ukrainian prosecutor generals Yuriy Lutsenko and Victor Shokin on camera. The two men repeated what they have claimed previously. 

Lutsenko, interviewed at “safe house 1, a snow-covered hunting lodge” outside of Budapest, said that former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch lied under oath in Congress during the impeachment inquiry that she had not given him a “no prosecute list.” 

First voiced in a March interview to The Hill contributor John Solomon, Lutsenko’s smearing allegations against Yovanovitch likely led to her removal from office in May. While she was ambassador, Yovanovitch harshly criticized Ukraine’s failure to reform its law enforcement and called for radical change. 


Read more: Yovanovitch wins applause after compelling testimony in Washington

Read more: Trump whistleblower scandal, explained from Ukraine

The meeting with Lutsenko’s predecessor, Viktor Shokin, was supposed to take place in Budapest too, according to the channel, but his health “was unfit for travel due to what he said was an attempted poisoning.” 

Interviewed in Kyiv, Shokin maintained that he had been fired in 2016 at the request of then-President Petro Poroshenko under pressure from then-U.S. Vice President Biden. Shokin claimed that Biden tried to protect the oil and gas company Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter worked, from a corruption probe. 

While Biden has admitted her called for Shokin’s ouster, he was only one of many voices. Civil society actors, Ukrainian politicians and the country’s international partners had all demanded Shokin be removed for failing to prosecute corruption. 

Top U.S. diplomat George Kent explained in his testimony to the Congress why the State Department and the U.S. embassy were disappointed with Shokin, Lutsenko, and the chief anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky: they sabotaged important investigations and blocked the law enforcement reform.


While the narrative advanced by Lutsenko and Shokin was not new, the Kyiv trip reportedly yielded more results for Giuliani in what the channel called “uncovering a much larger trail of Democrat crimes.” 

Giuliani also found two new sources with as questionable of reputations as the former prosecutors: lawmakers Oleksandr Dubinsky and Andriy Derkach. 

They presented Trump’s attorney with allegations that a U.S. investment fund and some pro-reform former Ukrainian officials had misappropriated aid from Washington and been involved in a large-scale embezzlement scheme.

All of these claims remain unsubstantiated but have grown exceedingly popular in fringe right-wing and pro-Trump media. 

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