The materials show that Parnas, a Russian-speaker who helped coordinate Giuliani’s outreach to Ukrainian sources, was directly communicating with an array of top Ukrainian officials. Among them was Yuri Lutsenko, at the time Ukraine’s top prosecutor and a close political ally of then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who was running for reelection.
Lutsenko wanted to get rid of Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador, in part because she had been critical of his office and supported a quasi-independent anti-corruption bureau he despised.
The messages, written in Russian, show Lutsenko urging Parnas to force out Yovanovitch in exchange for cooperation regarding Biden. At one point, Lutsenko suggests he won’t make any helpful public statements unless “madam” is removed.
“It’s just that if you don’t make a decision about Madam — you are calling into question all my declarations. Including about B,” Lutsenko wrote to Parnas in a March 22 message on WhatsApp.
It’s unclear if ‘B’ is a reference to Biden or Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Hunter Biden served from 2014 to 2019.