KYIV -- A Ukrainian court ruling has revealed that former Defense Minister Mykhaylo Yezhel, who is wanted in Ukraine for the alleged misuse of state finances, has received political asylum in Belarus.
According to a ruling by Kyiv's Solomyanka District that allowed Yezhel's trial in absentia and was made public on July 18, Yezhel and his family live in Minsk as political refugees.
Yezhel served as Ukraine's defense minister between March 2010 and February 2012.
In May 2013, he was appointed ambassador to Belarus.
In 2014, after Russia-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled by mass antigovernment protests, Ukrainian authorities charged Yezhel with misuse of 43 million hryvnyas ($1.6 million) from the state treasury.
In 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko dismissed Yezhel from the post of the ambassador, but Yezhel did not return to Ukraine.