Ukrainian parliamentarian Yuriy Aristov has allegedly broken the law by taking a family holiday to the Maldives despite being on sick leave.

The Prosecutor General’s Office opened criminal proceedings against Aristov. Law enforcement officials from the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) searched the MP’s home and found his passport with stamps from the Maldives, which indicated he had travelled to the country. The stamps contradict the dates and purposes of travel listed in his official documents.

Ukrainian officials are strictly prohibited from travelling abroad for vacations; men of conscription age require special permission to leave the country. Initial reports indicate that Aristov falls under the conscription age. The Ukrainian MP, however, was found vacationing in the luxury Indian Ocean destination, where he and his family stayed at the five-star Waldorf Astoria Maldives resort in mid-July, all while being officially registered as on sick leave during the same period.

The controversy unfolded when Ukrainian media first spotted Aristov in the Maldives after leaving for a three-day business trip to Poland on 5 June. He extended his stay and returned to Ukraine on 22 July, raising suspicions about his actions and adherence to official travel rules.
If found guilty of the allegations, Ukrainian lawmaker Yuriy Aristov could face up to three years in jail.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a stern warning to all public servants, asserting that any betrayal of the country’s interests would be met with “fury.” He pointed out why it is important to serve Ukraine’s interests above personal pursuits, especially during a time when the nation’s warriors and citizens are displaying immense moral strength in their efforts to secure victory and preserve freedom.

In response to the ongoing investigation and mounting public pressure, the Ukrainian MP has submitted a letter of resignation. This move indicates his willingness to face the consequences of his actions. The resignation will be discussed at the upcoming parliamentary session, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk confirmed on Facebook.

This incident adds to a series of resignations within President Zelensky’s government earlier in the year. These resignations coincide with a broad anti-corruption campaign launched by Ukraine. The government has been actively working to root out corruption and ensure transparency and accountability among public officials.

Yuriy Aristov held a prominent position as a Member of Parliament at the ninth convocation, representing the Servant of the People Party. He also serves as the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on National Security, Defence, and Intelligence. This adds to his significance in the government’s legislative and security affairs.