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Andrii Leonidovych Derkach (Ukrainian: Андрі́й Леоні́дович Де́ркач; born August 19, 1967) is a politician, businessman and alleged Russian agent who is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and an activist of the Russian Orthodox Church. In August 2020, William Evanina, the U.S. counterintelligence chief, identified Derkach as a key participant in Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
|Born||August 19, 1967|
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, USSR (now Dnipro, Ukraine)
|Party of Regions|
Early life and educationEdit
Derkach is the son of Leonid Derkach, former director of the Security Service of Ukraine, who was fired in 2001 for his alleged involvement in the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze. In 2005, the report of an ad hoc committee formed via the Ukrainian parliament, primarily responsible for investigating the murder, concluded that Gongadze's murder had been organized; the primary conspirators remained identified as then-President Kuchma and his Minister of the Interior, in addition to Leonid Derkach, who, according to the committee, had been involved in the crime.
Derkach attended the Kharkiv Higher Military Command and Engineering College of Missile Forces, now the Ivan Kozhedub National Air Force University, graduating in 1989. In 1989 and 1990, he served in the Strategic Missile Force at the technical missile base of the Pervomaysk division; this division remained placed under the command of the Strategic Missile Force. In 1993, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Law from the Dzerzhinsky Higher School, renamed the Academy of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in 1995; his thesis primarily concerned the "Organization and conduct of meetings with secret agents".
He worked as Security Officer at the Office of Security Service of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region.[when?] He worked within the following capacities as a member of the Ukrainian government:
1994–1996: Deputy Director of the Control Service of the President of Ukraine.
1996–1997: Advisor to the President of Ukraine on Foreign Economic Affairs.
1997–1998: First Assistant to the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
2006–2007: President of the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company “Energoatom"
2007: Director General of the State Concern "Ukratomprom"
2011–2013: Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, pro bono.
Business holdings and interestsEdit
Germany's Federal Agency for Civic Education reported in 2007 that Derkach and his father Leonid led the Derkach group, one of the regional cross-industry holding companies formed in Ukraine after the end of the Soviet Union which had close ties to the political elite and tried to influence politics through lobbying, corrupt networks, and illegal appropriations. Derkach headed a media company comprising four newspapers, a TV guide, and the website версії.com.
According to Media Ownership Monitor Ukraine, Derkach "de facto owns" television channel TRK Era and Radio Era; officially the owner is his assistant Anton Oleksandrovych Simonenko while Derkach is listed as honorary president of Era-Media and head of the arts council of TRK Еra. Ownership data of the privately held company is not publicly available. Radio Era was one of several radio stations, most prominently among them Petro Poroshenko's Channel 5, that provided around-the-clock reporting from Maidan Square during the Orange Revolution in 2004.
According to anti-corruption watchdog organization Chesno, Derkach and his associates appropriated protected lands valued at millions of dollars; he also failed to declare his wife's stake in various of his business enterprises, as he was obliged to do under the Ukrainian law to prevent corruption.
2002–2006: Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety.
Since 2012: Member of the Budget Committee of Ukrainian Parliament (Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on issues of budget).
2014–2016: Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group "Nation's Will”.
According to Ukrainian anti-corruption watchdog organization Chesno, Derkach voted for the "dictatorship laws", ten laws restricting freedom of speech and assembly, which were signed into law by president Viktor Yanukovych in January 2014; nine of them were repealed by the Ukrainian parliament 12 days later.
On November 13, 2015, The Interfactional Parliamentary Association “For the Protection of Violated Rights of Citizens and Against Political Repression “Forbidden to Forbid” was established. Derkach was elected as the Chairman of the Association.
On January 26, 2016, Derkach initiated the creation of an interim commission of inquiry on violations of the constitutional rights of citizens.
As of October 2019, Derkach represents District 159 in the Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine.
Interference in United States 2020 electionsEdit
On October 9, 2019, Derkach alleged that Joe Biden had been involved in an international money laundering scheme with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and US-based Rosemont Seneca Partners. He claimed that Burisma's payments to four of its board members–including Biden's son Hunter–which were neither secret nor illegal, were "a sinister plot involving" Ukraine's former president Poroshenko but his claims initially were mostly ignored in Ukraine and abroad. Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, called Derkach "not credible" and a "professional disinformer."
On December 5, 2019, Derkach met with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Kyiv to put together a corruption case against Biden's son Hunter, according to Derkach. In May 2020, he released a portion of a phone call between Joe Biden and Petro Poroshenko, the former president of the Ukraine.
On September 10, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Derkach "for attempting to influence the U.S. electoral process," while also alleging that Derkach "has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services."  The sanctions include freezing all of Derkach's property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with him and with entities of which Derkach owns 50 percent or more.
Since 1997, he has served as the chairman of the Charity Foundation for Ecology and Social Protection "Our Future".
Since 2003, he has been the President of the International Festival of Orthodox cinema "Pokrov".
Derkach is married to Terekhova Oksana Volodymyrivna, with whom he has three daughters and two sons.
Honors and recognitionEdit
- Member of the Order of Merit of the III degree
- Member of the Order of the Supreme Church St. Vladimir, Reverend Nestor the Chronicler, Saints Anthony and Theodosius, St. Demetrius of Rostov, St. Theodosius of Chernigov
- Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Author of the book Glukhov - hetman's capital (2000), co-author of monographs: "Infinitely lasting present: Ukraine: four years of the road" (1995), "Ukraine-Russia: test of friendship" (1997)
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- Как изменился состав Межсоборного присутствия Русской Православной Церкви? | Православие и мир
- "Derkach Sig. Andrej Leonidovich". Presidencia della Repubblica. October 28, 1998. Retrieved December 7, 2019.