Viktor Yanukovych may return to Ukraine, his defender Vitaly Serdyuk said.
In January, a Kyiv court found former president Viktor Yanukovych guilty of treason and complicity in an aggressive war Russia is waging against Ukraine. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
“At the moment, he is temporarily staying in the territory of the Russian Federation. His defense lawyers are taking action so that he could be given an opportunity to stay in his native country. The main task set by our client is to bring to justice those guilty of losing Crimea and those guilty of the anti-constitutional seizure of power, or a state coup,” Serdyuk told TV station Channel 5.
Currently, Yanykovych’s lawyers are also appealing against the sentence given to him.
The trial of Yanukovych turned out to be one of the after-effects of the events on Kyiv’s Maidan of Independence at the turn of 2013-2014. On November 21, 2013, when the then Ukrainian authorities announced that they were postponing the signing of the association agreement with the EU, pro-European Ukrainians started protesting.
Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power in February, 2014 after months of confrontation with the opposition, which resulted in the death of over 100 people. After the shooting of the Heavenly Hundred at Euromaidan, on the night of February 22-23, Russia conducted a planned operation to evacuate the former president of Ukraine to Rostov-on-Don. The order was issued by Vladimir Putin.
Soon after the escape of Yanukovych, Russia annexed Crimea and ignited a military conflict in Donbas, where pro-Russian separatists proclaimed two ‘republics’ in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. According to the UN estimations, about 13,000 persons have been killed in the east of Ukraine since 2014.