Wave of anti-corruption arrests and raids, long-range munitions from the U.S. confirmed
Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Thursday, February 2nd, 2023.
- The United States is preparing to announce another security assistance package for Ukraine, worth $2.2 billion, which will include long-range high-precision munitions.
Based on previous reports, the new weapon type is likely going to be Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) rockets for HIMARS rocket artillery systems, enabling HIMARS to strike targets 150 kilometers away. U.S.-funded Radio Liberty also reports that U.S. President Joe Biden will soon discuss Western weapon supplies to Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has appealed against a ruling of the High Anti-Corruption Court to refuse to impose a pre-trial restriction against former Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Kobolyev.
“A SAPO prosecutor sent an appeal to the HACC’s Appeals Chamber against the decision of the HACC’s investigative judge on the refusal to impose a pre-trial restriction against former Chairman of the Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine,” reads the report. The SAPO prosecutors added they consider such a decision illegal and unfounded. They also believe that the investigation has gathered enough evidence regar ing the risk of the suspects obstructing the pre-trial investigation.
According to the agency, the industry’s volume of exports export increased by $400 million compared to the pre-war year 2021. “The figure of more than $7 billion from the export of IT services is also a unique one, because of it being the largest indicator in the entire history of the Ukrainian IT industry’s existences,” said Konstantin Vasyuk, the executive director of the IT Ukraine Association.
- The residence of former interior minister Arsen Avakov was searched by Ukraine’s SBU security service and the State Bureau of Investigation.
The raid was related to the case of the helicopter crash in Brovary on Jan. 18, in which the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was killed. According to the media, during the searches, employees of the State Bureau of Investigation studied contracts from six years ago with the French Airbus Helicopter, which supplied helicopters to Ukraine. In particular, they studied the contracts for the H-225 aircraft that was used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
- Ukraine’s SBU security service and the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine have raided the house of oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky in connection with an alleged case of fraud at oil companies Ukrtatnafta and Ukrnafta worth $1 billion.
NV’s sister outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported on Feb. 1, citing its sources in law enforcement that a search of the residence of Kolomoisky, the former owner of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s biggest bank, now state-owned, was underway. Unofficially, one of the law enforcement agencies confirmed to NV Business that the ESBU was indeed conducting investigative actions against Ihor Kolomoisky.
- Ukraine’s Prosecutor General's Office has issued notices of suspicion to three people involved in the Ukrainian army’s food procurement, including two senior Defense Ministry officials.
Ukrainian MP and leader of the ruling Servant of the People party faction in parliament, Davyd Arakhamia, also confirmed the information on his Telegram channel. Referring to sources inside the ministry, Ukrainska Pravda said that Bohdan Khmelnytsky, deputy director of the public procurement department, was served with a notice of suspicion on charges of embezzlement of UAH 107,796,050 (about $3 million) of public funds and providing the Armed Forces with 5,700 low-quality bulletproof vests.
- New evidence of criminal activity of Motor Sich President Vyacheslav Boguslaev, who is suspected of working in the interests of Russia, have come to light.
The agency reported that while carrying out investigative and operational activities it had been established that after the start of the full-scale invasion, the high-ranking official financed the “DPR” terrorist organization. "In particular, this was done through the payment of ‘taxes’ and ‘fees’ to the budget of this quasi-entity," the SBU press service said in a statement.
According to the official, shown to the door were acting head of the State Customs Service, Vyacheslav Demchenko, and his deputies, Oleksandr Shchutskyi and Ruslan Cherkasskyi. MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak reported on the Telegram messenger that the remaining deputy head of the customs office, Serhiy Zvyahintsev, would be appointed acting head of the agency.
- The large-scale operational and investigative measures taken by the Ukraine's SBU security service on Feb. 1 are aimed at "fighting the internal enemy.”
"The SBU is attacking an internal enemy across the board," the SBU said. Acting head of the SBU Vasyl Malyuk explained it is only the first stage of "complex and systematic work" needed to be done and the SBU "isn't going to stop".
- The State Bureau of Investigation has charged the dismissed deputy minister of defense who was responsible for logistics of the Armed Forces.
Allegedly, the ex-deputy minister lobbied for contracts for the supply of food for the military at inflated prices, as well as the purchase of low-quality bulletproof vests, helmets, clothing and other items for the military worth more than UAH 1 billion ($27.1 million). The contracts were concluded with full prepayment.
- The State Bureau of Investigation has charged the former Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Ihor Nasalyk.
Nasalyk is suspected of signing unprofitable gas customs clearance agreements in favor of oligarch Dmytro Firtash worth UAH 1.5 billion ($40.6 million). Nasalyk was earlier accused of omitting a financial liability of $1.2 million in his declaration. He did not indicate it from 2015 to 2018. Moreover, in 2022, law enforcement officers found that the former minister had failed to indicate UAH 29 million ($785,000) in his declaration.
- Ukraine’s SBU security service said on Feb. 1 it is investigating the involvement of construction firm belonging to Vadym Stolar, an MP from a banned pro-Russian party.
He’s suspected of being involved in money laundering for treason suspect Viktor Medvedchuk and other sanctioned individuals. The agency confirmed that they had searched representatives of Kyiv construction companies controlled by Stolar (although the name of the MPis not specified in the message).
- Ukraine’s State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience has checked the statute on the management of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate for a church canonical connection with the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to their conclusions, the UOC remains a structural unit of the ROC. The agency conducted its probe under an order of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) dated Dec. 1, 2022. The expert group included five professors, doctors of science, and one candidate of science – experts in the field of religion, church history, freedom of conscience, theology, and state-religious relations.
- A series of New Year “wish lists” full of luxury items was found during a search of the acting head of Kyiv tax service.
The official, who is suspected of corruption, wished in 2018 for a promotion, a sable coat, a trip to London, and a luxury watch, while in 2021 she wished for another London holiday, vacation in the Maldives, $1 million, and to become Kyiv’s chief tax officer. The latter came through, although her career as a state official has ended abruptly, given pending criminal corruption and abuse of power charges.
- The day’s long read: ‘Peace Formula’ summit on invasion anniversary, events and changes upcoming in Ukraine
The anniversary of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine will be marked in February, and several major international summits in support of the Ukrainian people and the peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will take place. NV reviews the biggest changes taking place.
Neither household demand for foreign currency nor increased imports of energy equipment shifted the hryvnia exchange rate in January, and bankers quizzed by NV Business were upbeat about the upcoming IMF mission and foreign aid to support Ukraine’s currency in February.
- In our opinion: A seven-point plan to make Putin resign
Former president Petro Poroshenko explains how to hold Russia accountability for the crime of aggression, and how Ukraine can ensure it wins this war.
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