In 2016, shortly after arriving in Kyiv to serve as America's Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch met with Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko. Lutsenko, who resented being told what to do, told her, "Look, the people that your Embassy supports are not angels, either." Lutsenko listed some prominent anti-corruption experts and activists whom he claimed the right to investigate, including investigative journalist & parliamentian Sergii Leshchenko; Anti-Corruption Action Center co-founder Vitaliy Shabunin; & Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaky Kasko. As the argument grew more heated, Lutsenko wrote the names on a piece of paper, told Yovanovitch, "This is your do-not-prosecute list," and then, with a dramatic flourish, tore into little pieces.
Yovanovitch told Lutsenko, "Of course you have the right to prosecute whoever you want." "Maybe I was rude," Lutsenko later conceded. "Maybe it was possible to explain myself in a more polite way."