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Ukrainian government interpreter arrested as Russian “spy”

Thursday, 21 December, 2017 - 21:38

Ukrainian security services have arrested an interpreter who accompanied the Ukrainian prime minister on a trip to Downing Street last summer.

Stanislav Yezhov, who travelled with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on numerous trips abroad, was detained in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday.
Yezhov had worked “for the enemy state [Russia] for a long time,” Prime Minister Groysman, announced on his Facebook page.

In July, Yezhov was photographed alongside Theresa May during a Ukrainian government visit to the UK. It’s thought that he may have acted as an interpreter for meetings between Groysman and May as they discussed security issues and Russian sanctions. He also accompanied Groysman on a trip to Washington in 2016 when he met with the then vice-president, Joe Biden.

Theresa May, who is visiting Poland, said she was aware of reports that Asked about the issue during a visit to Poland, Ms May said she was aware of Yezhov’s arrest. “I’m aware of the reports in relation to the Ukrainian individual who attended Downing Street earlier in the summer,” she said.

“The action that’s been taken is a matter for the Ukrainian authorities.”

The SBU, the security service that arrested Yezhov claimed he had acted on Russian orders and “collected data on the activities of governmental institutions by means of special equipment.

The arrest of an alleged Russian spy so close to the heart of the Ukrainian government comes as a serious embarrassment for Kiev as the conflict between the Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in its eastern Donbass region recorded its worst escalation in months in December. It will also present a further complication for UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s trip to Moscow on Friday when he may have to bring up this issue with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.