Tags: Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | Ukraine | paul manafort | indictment | robert mueller

Ukrainians Happy at Manafort Indictment

Image: Ukrainians Happy at Manafort Indictment
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort (Matt Rourke/AP)

By    |   Monday, 30 October 2017 08:31 PM

Ukrainians largely expressed satisfaction over the indictment Monday of Paul Manafort on charges he laundered money from the former government of Russia-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

"That's great news!" Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko said. Leshchenko was instrumental in exposing the "black ledger" that allegedly showed $12.7 million in secret payments to Manafort from Yanukovich's Party of Regions.

The revelation of the "black ledger" led to Manafort being forced out as then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign manager in August 2016.

"I'm very much satisfied, because Manafort was involved in high-level corruption in Ukraine," Leshchenko told RFE/RL. "He helped one of the most corrupt persons in the world [Yanukovich] to be elected president."

Manafort, a longtime campaign operative, is credited with helping Yanukovich win the presidency in 2010, from which he was ousted three years later.

Leshchenko said he believes the money Manafort received was "stolen from Ukrainian taxpayers."

Manafort has not been pursued for criminal charges in Ukraine, and chief anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky said it is too early to say whether his office will now open an investigation.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's administration would not comment to RFE/RL, and Volodymyr Ariev, a member of Poroshenko's ruling party said, "I cannot say [Manafort's indictment] is good or bad. We'll see."

Ariev said Kiev will "no doubt" cooperate with the American investigation if asked.

Others in Ukraine also were glad to hear the news of Manafort.

"While American journalists report about the 'surrender' of Manafort, Ukrainians openly rejoice," investigative journalist Kristina Berdynskykh tweeted.

"[T]oday is a holiday on the street of Serhiy Leshchenko," Ukrainian blogger Alyona Yakhno said on Facebook. "Without any irony. He was the first to start all this."

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The indictment Monday of Paul Manafort on charges he laundered money from the former government of Russia-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was met with satisfaction if not happiness by Ukrainians, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
paul manafort, indictment, robert mueller, fbi special counsel
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2017-31-30
Monday, 30 October 2017 08:31 PM
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