Kyiv councilwoman charged over a car accident, denies driving under influence

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Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office charged Kyiv City Councilwoman Yaryna Arieva with causing a car accident under the influence of drugs, which resulted in significant injuries to a pedestrian.

Arieva confirmed her involvement in the car accident but denied driving under the influence of drugs in a Facebook post on May 23.

Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office claimed Arieva’s driving ability was impeded by the drugs. Councilwoman claimed she did not notice the pedestrian due to energy blackout in Kyiv.

“I did not use any drugs. The test after the car accident did not show anything and I did not lose my driver’s license,” Arieva wrote.

On May 23, the court placed Arieva under house arrest for two months. Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office intends to appeal the decision.

The councilwoman could face three to eight years in prison and lose her driver’s license for a period of five to eight years, according to Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office.

Arieva wrote that the allegations of driving under the influence of drugs are a part of the campaign to discredit her. She believes the campaign is organized due to her involvement in the protest against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The car accident occurred on Nov. 27, 2022, while Arieva, 22, was driving a Volkswagen Polo. According to the Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office, the driver hit the pedestrian on a crosswalk. The impact from the collision caused multiple injuries to the pedestrian, including broken bones and brain injury.

Arieva claimed her family began helping the woman who suffered the injuries with receiving medical care after the accident. Arieva’s father, Volodymyr Ariev, is a representative in Ukraine’s parliament. Her mother, Nataliia Fitsych, is a journalist.