Andriy Portnov, a pro-Russian politician and former official during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, left Ukraine on June 3 through a checkpoint inZakarpattiya Oblast, journalists from Ukrainian television’s Skhemy investigative program said in a report on July 12.
According to the journalists’ sources, Portnov left for neighboring Hungary through the Chop (Tysa) border crossing.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine refused to answer a request from journalists to explain on what grounds Portnov, 48, had left the territory of Ukraine at a time when travel restrictions for men of conscription age (18 to 60) are in place.
Justifying the refusal, the border service said, “the content of the request concerns the provision of personal data that is regulated by the Law of Ukraine On the Protection of Personal Data.”
The Skhemy journalists also asked Ukraine’s SBU security service whether the agency was investigating Portnov’s activities, in particular, his ties to Russia.
Portnov has been under U.S. sanctions since December 2021, having been included on the list of persons under the so-called Magnitsky Act. This list includes high-ranking officials involved in human rights violations and large-scale corruption.
In the United States, Portnov is accused of influence peddling in the Ukrainian courts. Until 2014, Portnov was responsible for the judiciary in the presidential administration under Yanukovych.
After the events of 2013-2014 and Yanukovych’s escape, Portnov left Ukraine and lived in Austria.
He returned to Ukraine in the second half of May 2019, after the victory of Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the presidential elections.
In August 2019, the SBU closed a treason case against Portnov.