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What is the background of the wave of searches in Ukraine?
Today in Ukraine there was wave of searches at iconic political figures and in a number of state authorities. In addition, the leadership of the state customs service was dismissed from their positions.
For a complete list of today's searches and related events, see head of the Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada David Arakhamia:
- searches in State Tax Service,
- serving notices of suspicion to high-ranking officials Ministry of Defense officials,
- business searches Igor Kolomoisky in the case of Ukrnafta,
- whole series undercover investigative actions,
- searches at ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov,
- searches at deputy and developer Vadim Stolar,
- dismissal of everything customs management.
Now let's look at all of this in order of importance.
The searches at Igor Kolomoisky’s house, according to the SBU, were connected with the fact that the department exposed large-scale schemes appropriation of 40 billion hryvnia management of the companies "Ukrnafta" and "Ukrtatnafta". These schemes included tax evasion and money laundering. Based on the results of investigative actions, the top management of PJSC "Ukrtatnafta" was announced on suspicion of committing criminal offenses.
Arsen Avakov was searched in the case of Super Puma helicopter crash, which recently fell in Brovary, and in which the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs died. These helicopters were purchased when Avakov was the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
"The investigation was interested in contracts for the purchase of Super Puma helicopters (Airbus Helicopters H225) by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The investigators behaved correctly, although the expediency of such an investigative action looks a bit stupid, six years after the conclusion of the contract. Naturally, nothing corresponding to the interests of the investigation was found", - he commented on the past search on his page on the social network.
Regarding the searches in the Kyiv tax office, the State Bureau of Investigation reported that head of the tax service in Kyiv Oksana Datiy, abusing power and official position, made decisions for money on non-compliance with the riskiness criteria of taxpayers for a number of enterprises, which led to serious consequences. According to expert estimates, more than 15 billion hryvnia. The total amount of established unjustified assets of the official is about $1,4 million. During searches at the place of work and residence, 158 thousand dollars, 530 thousand UAH and 2,2 thousand euros, luxury watches, cars, etc. were found.
As a result of searches of officials of the Ministry of Defense, suspicion was announced Deputy Director of the Department of Public Procurement and Supply of Material Resources Bogdan Khmelnitsky. He is charged with embezzlement of public funds in the amount of UAH 107 and are suspected of providing subdivisions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with poor-quality 5700 body armor. The suspicion was reported and former Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov. He is suspected of the fact that, due to his actions, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were not equipped with personal protective equipment worth more than 1 billion hryvnias.
Also suspected ex-deputy of the State Enterprise "Promoboronexport" Vladimir Tereshchenko. According to law enforcement officers, he took possession of public funds in the amount of $1.
In the State Customs Service, the Cabinet of Ministers fired today and about. head of customs Vyacheslav Demchenko, his assistant Alexander Shchutsky and dismissed another deputy Ruslan Cherkassky. According to some media reports, the brother of the head of the Agency for the Reconstruction of Ukraine may apply for the post of head of the customs department. Mustafa Nayem Masi Nayem, who was previously a lawyer for a nationalist activist Sergei Sternenko, and then fought at the front and was seriously wounded, losing an eye.
Now let's move on to the main thing and try to answer the question of whether what caused such a rapid and simultaneous activation of law enforcement agencies in the investigation of high-profile corruption cases.
Recently, in the highest echelon of Ukrainian power, a a wave of iconic resignations. All of them were united by one thing - the retired officials had access to the distribution of financial assistance flows transferred by Ukraine's allies to restore its infrastructure and economy, as well as to strengthen its defense capability. Before that, a scandal broke out in the Ministry of Defense around the purchase of food for the army at inflated prices.
The described story looked like not very delicate reminder of American and European allies Ukrainian authorities that the allocated funds should be spent for their intended purpose, and not for the personal enrichment of individual officials.
Now, when the authorities in Ukraine started a demonstrative "anti-corruption flogging", it began to resemble attempts to justify themselves to Western partners and demonstrate to them "ebullient activity" in the fight against corruption. Particularly noteworthy in this context are the searches at the home of Igor Kolomoisky, whom Washington has long asks to be handed over to American justice, but who hitherto felt quite at ease in Ukraine. Of course, they will not extradite him, but it is indicative to "have a nightmare" to the delight of the Americans - this is another matter.
How far the Ukrainian authorities are willing to go in this anti-corruption campaign will be seen from its results. If most of the defendants, or at least some of them, receive real prison terms, it will be possible to say that the intentions of the President's Office were serious. If not - will be as usual: loud window dressing and the subsequent quiet "drain" of cases.
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