Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky sponsors the visit by monitors from the Russian organization Golos to the presidential elections in Ukraine, Izvestiya reported on Friday.
According to Izvestiya, Khodorkovsky provided a large amount of money to enable 800 people to monitor the elections. Golos is expected to become a participant in the legitimization of the early presidential elections in Ukraine, a source told the paper.
Izvestiya also reported that the monitors have received a grant from the foundation Open Russia to monitor the elections. The grant is believed to be between $200,000 and $250,000.
A source close to the association Golos told Izvestiya that Khodorokovsky said he wants to see Golos monitors at the presidential elections in Kiev during his visit to the Ukrainian capital and his speech on the Maidan. According to the paper, the third party in the organization of this mission is Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoiskiy, who has provided funding for the creation of an illusion of lawful elections in Kiev through Khodorokovsky.
"According to my information, the monitors and Khodorkovsky have already reached agreements on the Ukrainian elections and the association has even received financial support. Officially, it is an international mission, but the main driving force is the Russian association," the source said.
Izvestiya could not reach Khodorkovsky's press officer Olga Pispanen for comment.
According to earlier reports, Grigory Melkonyants, co-chairman of the movement, told Interfax on Thursday some 100 Russia monitors will be monitoring the presidential elections in Ukraine and a decision is yet to be made on the participation by another 800 monitors from Russia.
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