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Who is Nestor Shufrych and what is he suspected of: Views, fights and scandals

Who is Nestor Shufrych and what is he suspected of: Views, fights and scandals Member of Parliament Nestor Shufrych (Photo:

The Security Service of Ukraine is conducting searches at the residence of Member of Parliament Nestor Shufrych. He is suspected of state treason, and photos of Russian military coats, a collection of Soviet medals, and documents were reportedly found at his home.

More about the politician and related scandals - in the RBC-Ukraine article.

Career and views

Nestor Shufrych was born on December 29, 1966, in Uzhhorod. After completing his military service, he graduated from a local university with a degree in history. In 2004, he defended his dissertation on "Development and Transformation of Agricultural Production in Hungary" and obtained a candidate's degree in economics.

From 1996 to 2007, Shufrych was a member of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) and rose to the position of First Deputy Chairman. In 1998, he was first elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the 70th constituency (Zakarpattia region). In 2002, he repeated this achievement but in a by-election for the 201st constituency in Cherkasy region.

In 2006, he ran for parliament as part of the Opposition Bloc "NOT YES!" list, and in the same year, he was elected as a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. However, a few months later, he was appointed Minister of Emergency Situations.

Who is Nestor Shufrych and what is he suspected of: Views, fights and scandals

Photo: Nestor Shufrych has been elected to the Rada since 1998 (Vitaliy Nosach/RBK-Ukraine)

He returned to parliament in 2007, running on the list of the Party of Regions. During that time, he also joined this political force. In 2010, he once again headed the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

From 2010 to 2012, he served as Deputy Chairman of the National Security and Defense Council. 2012, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the Party of Regions. In January 2014, he voted for dictatorial laws, but this did not prevent him from being re-elected in the snap elections later that year as an independent candidate from the "Opposition Bloc." In 2017, he joined Vadym Rabinovych's party, "For Life!" in 2019, he was elected as a Member of Parliament from the "Opposition Platform - For Life" party. In one year, he began to be associated with a group of influence led by Viktor Medvedchuk within the "Opposition Platform - For Life" (in 2022, the party was banned).

Shufrych is a Member of Parliament of the 9th conference, heading the parliamentary committee on freedom of speech. He is a former owner of the football club "Hoverla" (Uzhhorod) and former owner of the closed channels UkrLive and "First Independent."

He did not hide his pro-Russian views before the full-scale Russian invasion. He denied the aggression that had been ongoing since 2014, occasionally referring to it as a "civil war."

"It's a war among Ukrainians; it's a conflict among Ukrainians. We keep hearing about the presence of the Russian military. We have been at war for four years: where are the captured Russian soldiers? Where are the deceased Russian soldiers? There are no regular Russian troops in Donbas," he stated.

RBC-Ukraine's sources reported that a document outlining a scheme for autonomy for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was also found at Shufrych's residence today. The document proposes renaming these regions as territories, granting them broad autonomy, holding elections, and forming a separate government and parliament. Furthermore, the document, dated July 2014, bears the signatures of the traitor Viktor Medvedchuk and Nestor Shufrych himself.

Scandals and Interesting Facts In 2005, Shufrych faced 18 criminal cases, but none went to court. He was accused of abuse of office, violations in gas production, illegal privatization of real estate, and more.

During elections in the Cherkasy region, Shufrych was linked to distributing 20 hryvnia bills to voters, which earned them the nickname "Nestors."

In 2007, Shufrych became a target of ridicule from the opposition. At that time, he headed the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and rescuers could not capture a crocodile in Mariupol for several months. In May, a representative from the circus brought the crocodile to the beach, but the animal managed to escape. Eventually, the crocodile settled in the area near the thermal power station of the metallurgical plant. It couldn't be caught either using nets or by trying to lure it with white mice. In the end, in November, the crocodile was captured by plant workers while it was in a state of hibernation.

In June 2013, Shufrych was among the MPs from the Party of Regions and the Communist Party who signed an appeal to the Sejm of Poland, asking it to "recognize the Volyn Tragedy as genocide against the Polish population and condemn the criminal actions of Ukrainian nationalists." The first President Leonid Kravchuk called this appeal an act of national betrayal.

The following month, in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada, a piece of the 15-ton chandelier fell on Shufrych's head.

"Everything is fine. Due to the tension in the Verkhovna Rada, even our chandelier couldn't handle it anymore. Nothing like this has ever happened in the Rada," the politician commented.

In September 2014, activists from the "Right Sector," "AutoMaidan," Euromaidan, and "Self-Defense" in Odesa brought a garbage bin for the "lustration" of Nestor Shufrych. The politician arrived for a meeting of the "Opposition Bloc" party and attempted to flee from the activists, which resulted in him being beaten.

In December 2019, a scandal erupted when it became known that the politician hunted animals such as the Eastern black rhinoceros, brown hyena, oryx antelope, and others during a safari in Africa. Some of these animals are on the brink of extinction.

In 2022, journalists from the "Schemes" project discovered that he owned land plots and a house in the town of Simeiz on the southern coast of Crimea, purchased in 2013. After the occupation, the property was re-registered under Russian law. Additionally, the deputy's family continued to acquire real estate on the peninsula even after its illegal annexation.

In March of the same year, Shufrych was detained by the territorial defense in Kyiv while taking photographs at a checkpoint. During the arrest, his security personnel reportedly attempted to open fire.

The MP claimed he took a selfie to prove he was still in Kyiv.

In November 2022, Shufrych was re-elected as a National Olympic Committee (NOC) member, which outraged the public and Ukrainian athletes. Following the backlash, the MP requested to be excluded from the NOC.

Engagements in physical altercations with Lutsenko and Lyovochkin, Clashes with Poroshenko

Nestor Shufrych is also known for his willingness to confront his opponents physically. He first gained notoriety in a brawl in 2004 involving supporters of then-presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, including an altercation with Petro Poroshenko.

On the day of Viktor Yushchenko's inauguration, Shufrych's supporters at Maidan doused him with kefir and pelted him with potatoes. Despite being escorted by the police, he was struck several times, and he had to find his way through the crowd to his car.

In 2005, he fell victim to the "Berkut" riot police while defending his fellow party member Ivan Rizak. In 2008, the then-head of the State Guard Directorate, Valeriy Heletey, publicly challenged Shufrych to a martial duel through the media.

In the same year, Shufrych struck the former Minister of Transport Mykola Rudkovsky multiple times, causing injuries to his lip. The victim filed a police report but later withdrew it.

In 2009, he physically assaulted Serhiy Lyovochkin, the Deputy Head of the Party of Regions faction, and struck him in the face several times. The brawl allegedly stemmed from Lyovochkin's failure to inform about Viktor Yanukovych's trip to Crimea.

Later, during a break in the "Shuster Live" program, he attacked then-Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. The fight occurred after Lutsenko, in response to accusations of alcoholism (an incident in Germany), claimed that Shufrych had allegedly once broken his wife's jaw.

In February 2014, he physically fought on the parliamentary podium with Yuriy Bereza, the Deputy Head of the "People's Front" faction. Other deputies quickly joined the brawl. The altercation began after Shufrych tore a poster calling for Viktor Medvedchuk to be brought to justice.

In October 2019, Nestor Shufrych almost engaged in a physical altercation with former "Svoboda" party deputy Yuriy Mikhalyshyn during a live broadcast of the "Narod Proti" talk show on the ZIK channel. The most recent public brawl involving him remains an incident with journalist Yuriy Butusov. This occurred just a few days before the full-scale Russian invasion, and during the "Svoboda Slova" (Freedom of Word) talk show, the MP defended Russian narratives.

Shufrych has been involved in physical altercations so frequently that he has taken up hand-to-hand combat. According to some reports, he even holds a third-degree black belt in Pankration, a form of no-holds-barred fighting.