Former fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych and two ex-defense ministers of Ukraine Dmytro Salamatin and Pavlo Lebedev have been notified of suspected treason.
"According to the investigation, the former president, in complicity with the two former defense ministers, carried out a targeted reduction of Ukraine's defense capability through the so-called reform of the Armed Forces during 2012-2014, which consisted of reducing the size, disbanding individual military units and units, changing their location," the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) in Ukraine said in a statement on June 24.
What is more, such actions were carried out, in particular in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which subsequently led to the annexation of the peninsula, the PGO said.
Thus, according to investigators, the officials assisted to a foreign state – the Russian Federation – and its representatives in carrying out subversive activities against Ukraine.
In particular, their notices of suspicion were issued under Part 1 of Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
A pretrial investigation is carried out by investigators of the Main Investigation Department of the State Bureau of Investigation.
In case of proof of guilt, the suspects are facing imprisonment for up to 15 years with confiscation of property.
As UNIAN reported, on December 24, 2012, the then President Yanukovych appointed Lebedev as Minister of Defense. At that time, Lebedev was a Member of Parliament from the then Party of Regions. On the same day, Yanukovych dismissed Salamatin from the post of Minister of Defense, which he had occupied since February 8, 2012.