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Ukrainian Authorities Accuse Opposition Lawmaker Of Threatening Zelenskiy’s Life

Parliamentary deputy Sofia Fedyna (holding the microphone) near the building of the State Bureau of Investigations on February 12.

A Ukrainian opposition lawmaker on February 12 was given a notice of suspicion for allegedly threatening the life of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an offense that is punishable with a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors made the announcement at the State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) office concerning Sofia Fedyna, a member of parliament in the European Solidarity party headed by former President Petro Poroshenko.

Investigators say she and blogger Olena Sambul, while livestreaming on YouTube and Facebook, publicly threatened the president’s life on October 26 when commenting on his visit to the war zone in eastern Ukraine.

"I was handed a notice of suspicion for threatening the president with words [like] 'and you know, there is shelling, and you know, there are grenades exploding, and it is thoughtless to go to the front in a white shirt [without a bullet-proof vest],’” Fedyna said.

She said her words spoke the truth and “this is not a threat or a warning, it is a reality…but for reality people don’t get punished....Today, in fact, I am being incriminated for a trumped-up crime, which means that we are [all] sliding downhill into a mass concentration camp.”

On February 6, DBR investigators handed Sambul, a war veteran and volunteer, a notice of suspicion for threatening Zelenskiy’s life.

Four days later a court in Kyiv ordered her to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, surrender her passport, and obey summons from investigators.

The preventative measure is in effect until April 9.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, Deutsche Welle, and Interfax