Ukraine charges pro-Russian MP with election meddling over Giuliani links

Ukraine charges pro-Russian MP with election meddling over Giuliani links

A pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian parliament who worked with Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer of ex-US President Donald Trump, has been charged with colluding with Russia to meddle in US politics.

Oleksandr Dubinsky, who belongs to the Opposition Platform for Life party, allegedly spread false information about Ukraine’s role in the 2016 US presidential election and the involvement of Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukrainian affairs, while receiving payments from Russian intelligence.

Dubinsky provided Giuliani with a report that accused the Bidens of corruption and misconduct in Ukraine. Giuliani delivered the report to the US Justice Department and Congress in December 2019, as part of his campaign to undermine the impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Dubinsky also joined Giuliani in a documentary series by the right-wing One America News Network (OAN), which purported to reveal the “truth” about the Bidens and Ukraine³. Giuliani claimed he was acting as Trump’s private attorney and not representing any Ukrainian official before the US government.

However, the US Treasury Department later sanctioned Dubinsky as “an active Russian agent for over a decade” and accused him of trying to influence the 2020 US election¹. The Treasury said that Dubinsky and other Russian agents used “manipulation and deceit” to damage the credibility of the US electoral process.

Dubinsky has rejected the charges and called them politically motivated. He said he was a target of a “witch hunt” by the Ukrainian authorities and the US Democratic Party.

The case comes at a time of high political tension in Ukraine, where President Volodymyr Zelensky is facing pressure from both the West and Russia over the ongoing conflict in the eastern Donbas region. Zelensky has also been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

The case also shows the lasting influence of Giuliani, who has been under federal investigation for possible violations of foreign lobbying laws in relation to his activities in Ukraine². Giuliani has insisted on his innocence and said he had “no reason to believe” that Dubinsky was a Russian agent.