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Ukraine says new document trove to help probe ex-president

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ukraine mapUkraine announced on Wednesday the discovery of a document archive from the era of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych, saying it could help push forward investigations into his Moscow-backed rule.

“We have in hand one of the largest archives of Yanukovych”, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said during a meeting of the pro-EU government.

“This is a very big step for investigators.”

Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014 after three months of protests and clashes with police in central Kiev.

The documents, found in a flat in the Ukrainian capital, include original paperwork for the ousted leader’s infamously lavish Mezhygirya residence, complete with a private zoo and exotic gardens, as well as bank statements and legal clearance for dozens of offshore firms, Avakov said.

Avakov also posted on Facebook pictures of some of the documents, including Yanukovych’s pension book.

Oleksandr Vakulenko, who heads the interior ministry’s investigation department, said he hoped the discovery would help move forward a number of probes into Yanukovych’s administration.

“I hope it will facilitate the return of illegally procured assets”, Vakulenko said.

Yanukovych went to Russia after fleeing his residence and made only a handful of public appearances since then.

In an interview last week with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, he said he wanted to return to politics.


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