Ukraine’s ruling party has kicked out a lawmaker from its parliamentary faction after reports that he had traveled to Thailand during Ukraine’s conflict with Russia sparked a public outcry.
Party spokesperson Yulia Paliychuk said on Friday (27 Jan) that Mykola Tyshchenko was expelled from the Servant of the People’s voting bloc following an announcement saying that he would meet members of the Ukrainian diaspora at a hotel in Thailand.
Tyshchenko said on Facebook that he had been on a business trip in Asia with the approval of party leaders, “acting exclusively in the interests of Ukraine”. Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said he had approved no such trip.
The winter visit to sun-soaked Southeast Asia comes amid a crackdown by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy aimed at projecting an image of greater accountability for officials.
More than a dozen senior officials were fired or resigned this week, including a deputy prosecutor who had come under fire in the press for a holiday in Spain, in the biggest shakeup of the Kyiv leadership since the war began.
Zelenskiy has announced a ban this week on private trips abroad by officials. Most Ukrainian men aged 18-60 have already been barred from leaving the country under martial law since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February of last year. (NNT)