Kyiv city councillor Vladyslav Trubitsyn, accused of corruption, was able to travel abroad with the permission of the head of the State Border Service, Serhiy Deyneka, based on a letter from the head of the Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, Radio Liberty's Skhemy (Schemes) project has found out.
According to journalists, on 13 May, the MP left Ukraine in his own Mercedes S 600 car through the Rava Ruska checkpoint. He has not returned since then, although he was supposed to be in court on 17 May.
"According to Skhemy's sources in several bodies familiar with the circumstances of Trubitsyn's departure, he used a letter on the letterhead of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, signed by its head Kyrylo Budanov, to cross the border. The letter is dated 27 January 2023," the journalists said.
In the letter, Budanov asked the head of the State Border Service to facilitate "unimpeded border crossing" for five people to go on a business trip abroad from 28 January to 25 May 2023. One of them was Trubitsyn. The letter specified a car and its number, and it was the car that the MP used to leave.
Another person on the list is Yuriy L. There are no public mentions of him, but journalists found out that he had previously crossed the border in the same car as Trubitsyn. He also bought a car from the founder of a literary club of which the MP is a member.
The next person on the list is Ruslan Sh., an antiques collector who owns shops in Kyiv and Kharkiv. Like Trubitsyn, he is a former assistant to MP Oleksandr Feldman. Ruslan explained his departure as "humanitarian aid".
Among the other men who were asked by the DIU to travel abroad in the same letter, two are non-public figures. The men confirmed to journalists that they had permission to travel from the DIU and used it to import pick-up trucks for defence purposes, and stated that they did not know Trubitsyn and the other men on the list.
State Border Service spokesman Ruslan Demchenko said in a comment that the service operates in line with the legislation in effect, including when letting citizens cross the border during the period of martial law.
"I have no information about Trubitsyn's border crossing or any other persons crossing the border. Such information is not for public disclosure. During the investigation or court proceedings, judges have the right to restrict a person from crossing the border of Ukraine at the request of investigators. If such decisions are made and sent to the State Border Service, we implement them. In addition, within the framework of criminal proceedings, investigators can obtain and, if they consider it possible, publish information about border crossings by individuals," he said.
The SAPO told Skhemy that in order to travel abroad, Trubitsyn had to notify the court in advance of the reason for his absence, which the defendant failed to do. Trubitsyn also had a procedural obligation to appear at court hearings on the first summons, and he has already violated this twice.
The journalists found out that in 2022-2023, Vladyslav Trubitsyn, already having the status of a criminal suspect, repeatedly travelled abroad on the basis of requests from the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, in particular, on 13 November 2022 and 22 January 2023. This is reflected in the database on crossing the state border of Ukraine, according to the sources of Skhemy with access to this database.
Skhemy sent a request for comment to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence. A representative of the agency, Andriy Yusov, said that he "cannot comment on this information at this time".
Later, the representative of the GUR, Andriy Yusov, confirmed that Trubitsyn had received such a letter from the intelligence service to facilitate his departure from the country. However, according to Yusov, the GUR took this step at the request of another organisation. The intelligence service refused to name it.
"Such a letter was issued at the request of another structure of the security and defence sector of Ukraine within the framework of interagency cooperation with this structure and at their official request. I cannot name this structure at the moment, perhaps this information can be made public later," Yusov said.
Trubitsyn is currently on the wanted list for failing to attend court hearings in a bribery case. The deputy, who is the head of the Kyiv City Council's Standing Committee on Entrepreneurship, Industry and Urban Development, is suspected of "demanding and receiving undue advantage" for winning tenders for the installation of swimming pools in the capital in collusion with five accomplices.
According to Trubitsyn's Facebook page, at least on 12 May he claimed to be in Kyiv for work. On 17 May, the councillor did not appear at the court hearing, and his phone was out of reach. The next day, he missed a session of the Kyiv city council.
On 25 May, more than a year after the suspicion was announced, the Servant of the People faction decided to expel Trubitsyn as its member. After the suspicion, Trubitsyn only suspended his membership in the party, but remained the chairman of the Standing Committee on Entrepreneurship, Industry and Urban Development.
The other day, the SAPO confirmed to journalists that Trubitsyn had left on 13 May, although the prosecutor's office had not given him permission to do so.