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Former Lawmaker Who Defected To Ukraine Lambasts Russia


Denis Voronenkov and his wife, Maria Maksakova (left), who is also a former Russian lawmaker, left Russia for Ukraine in October 2016 after the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office refused to launch a probe against his alleged involvement in an illegal property seizure in Moscow.

Former Russian State Duma Deputy Denis Voronenkov, who defected to Ukraine last year, has called Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region " a mistake."

In an interview with the Ukraine-based Censor.net online news portal, Voronenkov compared the present-day Russia with Nazi Germany -- saying that Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) controls everything in the country, including the State Duma.

Voronenkov also said he had testified against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was toppled by violent pro-European protests in Kyiv in February 2014.

"Yanukovych is a puppet. He resigned himself and his request [for the Kremlin] to send Russian troops [to Ukraine] was unlawful," Voronenkov said.

He also said that Russia had gone "crazy on its pseudo-patriotic madness."

"Crimea has united Russia around the idea to steal something from a neighbor," Voronenkov said.

Voronenkov and his wife, Maria Maksakova, who is also a former Russian lawmaker, left Russia for Ukraine in October 2016 after the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office refused to launch a probe against his alleged involvement in an illegal property seizure in Moscow. The probe was recommended by the federal Investigative Committee.

Voronenkov says he obtained Ukrainian citizenship in December.

Based on reporting by Censor.net
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