A Ukrainian court found former President Viktor Yanukovych guilty of treason and aiding and abetting in the conduct of an aggressive war.

Kiev Obolonskyy district court had ruled that Yanukovych had sent an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2014, while in Russia, asking him to send troops to Ukraine. The court ruled that Yanukovych had acted in order to “violate the country’s sovereignty”.

The judge said that on the same day, 1 March, Yanukovych “assisted in the conduct of an aggressive war against Ukraine.
According to the judge, although Yanukovych did not plead guilty, the court believes that his guilt in crimes under Articles 111 (treason) and 437 (aiding and abetting in the conduct of an aggressive war) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine has been proved.

In February 2014, Yanukovych left Ukraine amidst mass protests. Later, several criminal cases were initiated against him, including a case of treason. Prosecutors ask the court to sentence him to 15 years in prison.

In Ukraine, it is alleged that Yanukovych signed a letter to Putin asking him to send in troops. The former president denies his guilt. The Russian authorities claim that they have not received such a letter in the Kremlin.