Pro-Kremlin publications Lenta.ru, Ukraina.ru and others announced on January 30 that Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) has launched an investigation against former US President Barak Obama.
The source of this fake claim is Renat Kuzmin, the former deputy Procurator General in the disgraced and ousted government of Viktor Yanukovych. Today Kuzmin is an MP from the pro-Russian opposition platform For Life. On his Facebook page Kuzmin writes that the investigation is about the theft and laundering of international financial assistance funds stolen by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and former US President Barak Obama.
To support his claim Kuzmin presents the National Anti-Corruption Bureau’s response to his request, which refers to Ukrainian Criminal Code article 209 concerning laundering of illegally obtained income. President Poroshenko and “unidentified persons from his circles” are mentioned in the letter.
In a Facebook post Kuzmin claims the letter is a response to his faction’s request that “the facts presented by Trump’s lawyer Rudolf Guliani about corruption in Ukraine be investigated”.
How Kuzmin concluded that the “unidentified person” in NABU’s letter is Barak Obama and why he would be in Poroshenko’s circles is a mystery.
The NABU letter refers to “unidentified persons” and Lenta.ru certainly must have seen that, but this did not stop them from making this bizarre conclusion about Obama and spreading the fake as a news story. Lenta.ru also writes that Joseph Biden figures in this investigation, but this is not even mentioned by Kuzmin.
We asked NABU about these claims and this was their response:
“Firstly, Ukrainian law states that a case cannot be opened against a person, but into the offense committed. This is the basis on which we work; therefore it is incorrect to say that we have opened a case against someone personally.
Secondly, if you carefully read the specific NABU legislation, it indicates that our powers extend only to citizens of Ukraine – Ukrainian top officials and in no way to the presidents of another country. ”