Ukraine’s ruling party has expelled a lawmaker from its parliamentary faction after reports that he visited Thailand during Ukraine’s protracted conflict with Russia sparked public outrage.
Yulia Paliychuk, a party spokesperson, said on Friday that Mykola Tyshchenko had been expelled from the Servant of the People voting bloc after a brief announcement appeared on the website of the Ukrainian embassy in Thailand stating that Mr Tyshchenko would meet members of the Ukrainian population at a hotel there.
Mr Tyshchenko said on Facebook he had been on a business trip in Asia with approval of party leaders, “acting exclusively in the interests of Ukraine”. Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said he had approved no such trip.
The winter trip to sun-drenched Southeast Asia comes amid President Volodymyr Zelensky’s crackdown aimed at projecting an image of greater accountability for officials.
In the biggest shakeup of the Kyiv leadership since the war began, more than a dozen senior officials were fired or resigned this week, including a deputy prosecutor who had come under fire in the press for a vacation in Spain.
This week, President Zelensky announced a ban on official private trips abroad. Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February last year, most Ukrainian men aged 18-60 have been barred from leaving the country under martial law.