Former Zelensky aide alleges ruling party MPs received undisclosed bundles of money
Lawmakers in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s party have reportedly received thousands of dollars in cash and could be fined for failing to vote on important laws, the leader’s ex-chief of staff has sensationally said.
Speaking Tuesday in a marathon interview with journalist Dmitry Gordon, Andrey Bogdan said “servant of the people” MPs would receive money each month, in envelopes, as part of an unofficial salary. He named a figure totaling about $ 20,000. This sum, however, is not paid in the Ukrainian currency, the hryvnia, according to Bogdan.
The former chief of staff went on to say that if lawmakers did not vote in agreement with the party’s whip on key issues, they would face financial penalties, thereby reducing their income.
Bogdan was appointed head of the presidential administration after Zelensky won the elections in 2019 and served until February 2020. In September of last year, he was summoned for questioning by the Bureau of Investigation of Ukrainian state after telling Gordon that the Kyiv government, under the current authority of the president The administrative head, Andrey Ermak, had made several promises to Moscow, including regarding the status of Crimea, the resumption of flights between the nation Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as prisoner exchanges.
Although he did not claim to have seen the promises himself, Bogdan said he had heard rumors of the secret deal from various diplomats and intelligence officials.
Prior to his job as head of the president’s office, Bogdan worked as an attorney for influential Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, a longtime Zelensky supporter, who has since worked to distance himself from the billionaire. Earlier this year, Washington introduced measures against the notorious businessman and his family, including a travel ban, in response to allegations he was involved “in significant corruption.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken asserted that “In his official capacity as Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast of Ukraine from 2014 to 2015, Kolomoisky was implicated in acts of corruption which undermined the rule of law and the confidence of the Ukrainian public in democratic institutions and processes public of their government.