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Kyiv official suspected of forging college diploma

Volodymyr Bondarenko never went to Lviv University.

On 31 August, the chief of staff of the Kyiv city state administration, Volodymyr Bondarenko, was declared a suspect in the case of a deliberate forgery of a higher education diploma and assistance to forgery.

He refused to testify during the questioning.

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko suspended Bondarenko on 7 June after a media investigation alleged that Bondarenko's university diploma was fake.

In early May, the investigative TV programme Skhemy (Schemes) found out that Bondarenko received a degree from Kyiv Shevchenko National University (KSNU) on the basis of a fake bachelor's diploma of Lviv National University (LNU). The LNU archives, however, contained no records of Bondarenko. In the meantime, journalists, who visited KSNU's archives, obtained a photocopy of the bachelor's diploma that Lviv University has allegedly awarded to Bondarenko.

Volodymyr Bondarenko, 32, has been working for Klitschko since 2007 when he became his assistant in the Kyiv city council.

In 2013–14, he was Klitschko's aide in parliament.

Bondarenko's actions may qualify as forgery which in Ukraine is punishable by a fine of up to 50 non-taxable minimums (850 hryvnyas, 33 dollars) or an arrest for up to six months; aiding and abetting to forgery of an official document is punishable by a fine of up to 1,000 non-taxable minimums (17,000 hryvnyas) or an arrest for up to six months, or two years' imprisonment, the Kyiv prosecutor's office said.