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Former Ukrainian prime minister says Ukraine should investigate Hunter Biden

'It's a fact and not made up'

VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images

Mykola Azarov, who was prime minister of Ukraine from 2010 through 2014, says that he believes Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden should be investigated, saying, "It's a fact and not made up. It should be investigated so that the 'i's can be dotted and the 't's crossed."

According to Reuters, Azarov made the comments from Russia, where he lives in functional exile from Ukraine. Azarov purportedly told Reuters he believes that Hunter Biden's role with Burisma should be investigated to ensure that Biden's role with the company complied with Ukrainian laws.

Azarov was prime minister of Ukraine during the critical time period of 2010-2012, which is of particular interest to prosecutors who are still looking into Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden joined the firm in 2014.

Hunter Biden's role at Burisma Holdings has come under renewed scrutiny after it was revealed last week that President Donald Trump had asked current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate it, and video subsequently came to light of former Vice President Joe Biden bragging that he got Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, fired.

Liberal media fact checkers have rushed to exonerate Biden, pointing out (correctly) that there was international pressure to fire Shokin based on his overall perceived corruption. However, that does not rule out the possibility that Biden additionally applied pressure at his son's behest, especially in light of documents unearthed by The Hill's John Solomon, which cast doubt on many elements of Biden's story.

As for Azarov, he told Reuters, "It's a fact (his directorship and fees) and not made up. It should be investigated so that the 'i's can be dotted and the 't's crossed."

Azarov himself was accused of corruption in office, following a long and distinguished line of Ukrainian former leaders who have been prosecuted for corruption after leaving office. In fact, it's something of a tradition in Ukraine for incoming prime ministers to instigate corruption investigations against their defeated and potential rivals.

For instance, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was arrested and charged with corruption both before and during her national campaigns, and while she was in office, in what her supporters decried as clearly politically motivated prosecutions. These prosecutions were reopened after Tymoshenko lost the 2010 presidential election to the eventual victor, pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych. When Yanukovych was deposed in 2014, he and many of his cabinet — including Azarov — were charged with crimes related to corruption and treason and fled to Russia. It is difficult for any Westerner to accurately sort out to what extent any of these charges stem from true corruption, and to what extent they are the result of Ukraine's unique method of dealing with political rivals.

Azarov himself denies any wrongdoing during his tenure as Ukraine's prime minister.

One last thing…
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