Separatism in Donbas initially funded by Oleksandr Yanukovych – ex-Duma MP Ponomarev
The initial stage of the conflict in Donbas and the creation of the so-called 'DPR' and 'LPR' was financed by the son of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Oleksandr, said ex-deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Ilya Ponomarev.
"According to the information I have at my disposal, the initial stage of what was happening in Donbas with the formation of the 'DPR' and 'LPR' was financed by Oleksandr Yanukovych," he told reporters after giving evidence in the Obolonsky district court of Kyiv on the case of Yanukovych state treason.
Ponomarev explained that Oleksandr Yanukovych had to some extent finance these processes, because of the commitments that Viktor Yanukovych would remain the president of Ukraine and the political crisis in the country would be overcome, Ukraine wouldn't join the EU and NATO, and remain in the sphere of influence of Russia.
The witness also noted that it was Yanukovych who was the chief negotiator of the beneficiary of the agreement of the then Ukrainian government with Russia on granting Ukraine $3 billion in loans in December 2013 through a scheme with government bonds.