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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 387
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Swedish Hard-Left Party Reportedly Donated Over $25K To Separatist-Linked Group
5 years
UPDATED: US Sanctions 8 Pro-Russian Separatists & A Russian Bank Over Russian Deployment of Troops In Ukraine
Peski Reportedly Under Attack

Sweden's Aftonbladet reports today that The Left Party (Vänsterpartiet), a Swedish socialist party born out of the Communist Party of Sweden with 21 seats in parliament, has provided a group in eastern Ukraine, linked to separatist militants, with 219,000 kronor ($25,407.64) in funding.

TheLocal.se, a site covering Swedish news in English, summarised the Aftonbladet report:

According to Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper, which broke the story on Wednesday, 219 000 kronor ($25,397) was moved from a bank account linked to the Left Party's aid organisation VIF, to a private bank account in the name of an ex-girlfriend of Borotba's leader, Victor Shapinov.

In an interview with the newspaper the woman said: "He told me to just take the money, because I have a foreign currency account at the bank", adding that she "asked no questions" at the time about what it was for.

The paper speculates that the Left Party may have been tricked by Borotba into thinking the money was bound for humanitarian work in the region.

According to Aftonbladet, The Left Party ceased cooperation with Borotba in December last year.

Victor Shapinov, leader of Borotba (fight or struggle in Ukrainian), was named by Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency last year as "one of the organisers of the Kharkiv and Odessa AntiMaidan."

In the RIA Novosti interview, Shapinov presented his role as one in a struggle against "Nazis" in the Maidan movement, claiming that members of his group had been beaten and arrested.

He also said that, "despite the strong statements of support from Novorossiya and the resistance to the junta, there is no help from Russian authorities and organisations."

TheLocal notes that 

Shapinov has previously worked as a political consultant for Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. He moved to Ukraine in 2006 and founded the Borotba movement in May 2011. He was arrested in November 2014 in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova amid rumours he was trying to promote Russian separatism in the state and even overthrow the political regime there, although Moldovan authorities have never made public the reason he was held. 

This would suggest the possibility that Shapinov is not a mere local activist, but a GRU agent, working to destabilise areas of Russian interest.

-- Pierre Vaux