Poroshenko decries 'political persecution,' calls it sign of election campaign start

Ex-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said a number of investigations launched after his term ended testifies to the start of the parliamentary election campaign. He did not rule out that he would be a target in new criminal proceedings.

"I assess these political persecutions as follows: first, this is a sign of the start of the parliamentary election campaign. Secondly, I watch very closely those accusations that come not from my enemies, but from the enemies of Ukraine. If a complaint is filed to investigate authorities that Ukrainian warships, which went to defend the Azov coast of Mariupol as part of a routine rotation, was a provocation against Russia and an attempt to shift responsibility from Russia, the aggressor country. …Now the fifth column is attempting to assign blame to Ukrainian officials," Poroshenko said in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Poroshenko said he is ready to respond to any and all charges, adding, "We will not allow this to be done."