Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Fled-abroad Deputy of the Verkhova Rada (faction “People’s Will”) and businessman Aleksandr Onishchenko told the Ukrainian publication “Strana” how and for how much the votes the people’s representatives are sold. The process, according to him, is reminiscent of a scene from a Hollywood action movie.
“A man in a black suit with a gun in a holster carries two gym bags in his hands. He enters a narrow elevator outside the waiting room of the main office in the Presidential Administration. The elevator is shared by guests of the First (President Petro Poroshenko), who don’t want to be seen through the front door, and by the First himself. From there it leads directly into a garage, where there are the escort cars of Petro Poroshenko. I was in this garage, I saw the elevator and the whole process. In each bag there is half a million dollars. It is the responsibility of the representative of the presidential guard to carry it. The money in the bags are put in the trunk and passed to me, the middle man, who took the function of the organizer of the vote,” said Onishchenko.
According to him, “in total, in the Rada about 70 deputies” of the 445 sell their votes individually.
“In the pivotal voting the price of their votes varies from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the personality of the Deputy,” said Onishchenko. “In each separate case it is necessary to negotiate, which I was doing, in fact, for several years with the team of Poroshenko. I was negotiating and organized commercial vote in favor of the President. Mostly I was spending my money, and a little bit later — money that I was given on the orders of Poroshenko.
Among the most expensive votes he named as the country’s budget for 2015 and 2016, the appointment on February 10th, 2015, and the dismissal of April 3rd, 2016, of General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin, then the appointment to this post on May 12th of this year, the head of the faction “bloc of Petro Poroshenko” in the Verkhovna Rada Yuriy Lutsenko, and finally the dismissal from the post of head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Valentin Nalyvaychenko on 18th June, 2015.
“For the dismissal of Nalyvaychenko votes were worth 2-2.5 million dollars. One million passed through me,” said Onishchenko.
But the most expensive became a vote on the appointment of Shokin, which cost the President about $3 million of budget funds, and 1.5 million passed just through the hands of Onishchenko.
“As far as I know, Onishchenko repeatedly, with his “cash”, covered a number of requests of the President, playing the role of a communicator and financial intermediary between the Presidential Administration and “Fatherland” of Tymoshenko in exchange for loyalty and preferences in relation to his business. In addition, Onishchenko received for his manager, Igor Shevchenko, the Minister of Environment, under the quota of “Fatherland”, and came to an agreement on Bankova Street (the Presidential Administration),” confirmed the Verkhovna Rada Deputy from the Radical Party Andrey Lozovoy to “Strana”.
The leader of Radical Party Oleg Lyashko was even more categorical in a public interview — Onishchenko was bringing to the deputies money from Bankova Street.
The shocking revelations (Onishchenko preserved and partially already presented to journalists his correspondence with employees of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and documents on transfers to him of money to pay Deputies) for the current regime appeared so big that the SBU today opened a case against the fugitive Deputy for state treason.
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