Employees of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) together with the Prosecutor General's Office have completed a special pre-trial investigation on suspicion of former President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov of committing high treason by prior conspiracy by a group of persons - they prepared and implemented the so-called "Kharkiv agreements", the press service of the SBI reports.
"It was established that several former high-ranking officials contributed to the military plans of the aggressor state. They "took care" of increasing the number of personnel and military equipment of the occupiers. Initially, their "assistance" was used for the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol in 2014, and later - for the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in February 2022," the statement said.
It is noted that Yanukovych ensured the legalization of the relevant treasonous agreement under Ukrainian law. On his instructions, a draft interstate agreement was prepared, agreed upon by the central executive authorities and approved at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Later, the so-called "Kharkiv agreements" were ratified by the Verkhovna Rada and implemented.
The fourth president deliberately distributed roles to prepare the necessary documents and to create the appearance of legality of the relevant procedures. He involved almost all high-ranking government officials and MPs he controlled.
The signed documents on the extension of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's stay in Ukraine for another 25 years, and the build-up of the Russian armed forces and military equipment in Crimea, created threats to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
According to the basic agreements of 1997, the Russians were supposed to reduce their contingent on the peninsula. Instead, the "Kharkiv agreements" allowed the aggressors to have enough resources to occupy the peninsula in 2014 and to invade Ukraine in February 2022.
Due to these criminal actions in late 2013 - early 2014, the number of Russian military personnel and equipment increased on the territory of Crimea. In particular, in Sevastopol, there were at least: 2 thousand 917 marines, 152 armoured combat vehicles, and 30 artillery systems of 100 mm calibre and above.
"With the knowledge of the then President, 37 thousand personnel of the Russian Armed Forces were deployed beyond the quantitative levels established by the Basic Agreements, which posed a threat to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defenсe capability and state security of Ukraine. All this contributed to the seizure of the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russians and the subsequent formation of new military units and units of the Russian Armed Forces in the occupied territories, which in turn were used by the Russian Federation for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022," the SBI stressed.
Currently, extradition proceedings against former Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs are underway, one of them is reportedly hiding in Cyprus, and the location of the other is being checked.
The former Defenсe Minister, suspected of high treason, is hiding in Belarus. And the Military Ministry of Belarus is taking measures to issue him a military pension.