People’s deputy Serhii Lyovochkin, elected to the Verkhovna Rada from OPZZH, visited Ukraine in July for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russian troops, but left the country again.
The People’s Deputy, who has not yet publicly spoken out about the aggression of the Russian Federation, left the country on February 10 and probably lives in a family villa in the south of France, together with his sister, People’s Deputy Yulia Lyovochkina.
According to the journalists of the “Schemes” program (Radio Liberty) with reference to several independent sources with access to the border crossing base, Lyovochkin spent a week in Ukraine in July and again went abroad together with deputies Hryhoriy Surkis and Oleksandr Puzanov, also elected from OPZZH to the parliament.
In their company on July 20, Lyovochkin was seen in the Polish city of Lodz at a football match with the participation of Dynamo.
According to “Scheme” sources, Sergey Lyovochkin entered Ukraine in the afternoon of July 6 (this happened for the first time after February 24): the People’s Deputy crossed the border at the Krakovets checkpoint on a Land Rover.
Deputies arrived in Ukraine with him Hryhoriy Surkis and Oleksandr Puzanovalso elected to the Verkhovna Rada from OPZZH.
Officially, the State Border Service does not comment on such information.
According to the data electronic system of roll-call voting of the Verkhovna RadaMPs Lyovochkin, Surkis and Puzanov attended the plenary sessions of the parliament in Kyiv on July 8 and 9 and took part in the voting.
Already on July 13, the “Scheme” film crew recorded how the cortege of deputy Hryhoriy Surkis left the territory of the capital’s educational and training complex “Dynamo”.
After that, the armored Maybach – accompanied by two more cars – left Kyiv on the highway in the direction of Western Ukraine.
Sources with access to the border crossing base told Schema that on this day Serhii Lyovochkin, along with Hryhoriy Surkis and Oleksandr Puzanov, left Ukraine, crossing the state border with the Republic of Poland.
Thus, during Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, Deputy Lyovochkin stayed in the country for less than 8 days.
Serhii Lyovochkin is one of the richest Ukrainian politicians who maintained a significant influence on state administration under different powers, has completely disappeared from the information space and has not yet made public statements regarding Russian aggression, the “Schem” journalists note.
Considering the state of war in Ukraine and the announced mobilization, it is likely that the status of a people’s deputy helped 49-year-old Lyovochkin to leave the country.
The journalists of “Schem” asked him to comment on the reasons for his long absence from Ukraine, the circumstances of his departure in July, and the lack of a public position regarding the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The editors are waiting for a response. (Lyovochkin did not answer a previous similar request from the editors from the beginning of May).
“Schem” journalists also drew attention to a photo report from the match between “Dynamo” and “Fenerbahce” within the qualifying round of the Champions League, which took place in the Polish city of Lodz on July 20. Several People’s Deputies of Ukraine were present at the stands.
People’s deputies Hryhoriy Surkis, Serhiy Lyovochkin, Oleksandr Puzanov, Oleksandr Gerega attended the match. Ihor Surkis, president of Dynamo Kyiv, was also with them.
The State Border Service of Ukraine confirmed to Schema that, in accordance with the legislation, exceptions to departure apply to people’s deputies.
In particular, the Law of Ukraine “On Mobilization Training and Mobilization” (Article 23, Part 1, Clause 13) exempts people’s deputies from mobilization, and Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 57 (p. 2-6) contains rules for crossing the state border by citizens of Ukraine.
“Deputies are subject to exceptions, according to this resolution, because during the introduction of a state of emergency or martial law in Ukraine, the right to cross the state border, in particular, is for conscripts who are not subject to conscription for military service during mobilization. They are subject to exceptions, who can cross the border to leave”– the spokesman of the State Border Service explained to journalists Andriy Demchenko.
At the same time, the lawyers interviewed by “Schemes” claim that the issue of people’s deputies traveling abroad is not finally settled in Ukrainian legislation.
“There are a number of laws and regulations that actually leave room for different interpretations as to whether deputies can freely travel outside of Ukraine without any accompanying documents other than a foreign passport. There is no clear and simple answer. In general, deputies have the right to leave, but the question is whether they need accompanying documents. Currently his offer to settle and to simplify the departure procedure for deputies who plan to leave with a diplomatic passport”– says the lawyer of the Miller law firm Andriy Novak.
“Schemy” also asked for clarifications regarding the procedure for people’s deputies to go abroad to the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada and are waiting for a response.
As “Schemy” reported in May, millionaire MPs Yuliya and Serhii Lvochkina flew out of Ukraine before the start of the full-scale invasion of Russia and did not publicly speak about Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Sergey Lyovochkin took off February 10, 2022 to Venice (Italy). On January 26, 2022, his sister, deputy Yulia Lyovochkina, flew to Nice (France) together with her husband, the head of Kyivgaz Andriy Vingranovsky.
Also journalists of “Schem” (Radio Liberty) in partnership with a French daily regional newspaper Nice-Matin showed the Lyovochkina’s villa on the Cote d’Azur in France and recorded cars decorated for the close entourage of the Lyovochkina.