Ukraine: Blood flows on the front, money elsewhere. Even around Zelensky


Server Kyiv Indenedent pointed out, that Ukraine has been seriously fighting corruption for some time. At the head of this fight are people from the anti-corruption office known by the abbreviation NABU. And this office appears to have mixed results. On the one hand, the officials reached for some legislators from the party of Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as for the former president of the Supreme Court Vsevolod Knyazev and the oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

But people from the president’s entourage don’t like office. Vadym Valko, a lawyer of the Center for Anti-Corruption Actions, noted to the Kyiv Independent that some key cases are either stopped or close to collapse.

However, Semyon Kryvonos, director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, answered in a written response to the Kyiv Independent server that his bureau is completely independent and can work for anyone. “I am not under any influence of any official in this state,” Kryvonos told the Kyiv Independent in a written response.

Critics of the office, however, counter that the office was over for Knyazev even after the judge’s disagreements with President Zelensky. Knyazev was accused of accepting a $2.7 million bribe. Knyazev denied the accusations. NABU director Semjon Kryvonos called the case “the biggest revelation in the entire history of anti-corruption agencies.”

NABU reported in May 2023 that several other Supreme Court judges had also accepted bribes. The numbers and series of banknotes owned by these judges matched those Knyazev received as a bribe. However, the other judges were ultimately not charged, which, according to the server, led to speculation that the law enforcement authorities were covering them up. Law enforcement sources told the Kyiv Independent that investigators did not have enough evidence against the judges to bring charges.

The outrage was said to have been caused by an agreement with the ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zločevský. In 2020, Zlochevskyi was charged with bribery after he tried to give NABU a $6 million bribe in exchange for closing the embezzlement case against him. In July 2023, Zločevskyj signed a plea agreement with anti-corruption prosecutors and escaped with only a financial fine. Under the agreement, he paid a fine of 68,000 hryvnias ($1,796) and donated 661 million hryvnias ($17 million) to the armed forces. Details of the plea agreement have been withheld for unknown reasons. However, her text was leaked to the Ukrainian Pravda news server.

According to the server, the office also pays too little attention to possible corruption in the Ministry of Defense.

Oleksandr Lemenov, head of the anti-corruption watchdog StateWatch, said he “doesn’t see a systematic fight against corruption at the highest level”, as opposed to petty corruption.

In addition, experts agree that if someone holds the key power in Ukraine today, it is not the parliament, but President Zelenskyi and his associates. And investigating the president’s associates is allegedly difficult due to legislative obstacles.

It is said that Zelenský’s ally, his deputy chief of the general staff Rostyslav Shurma, was in the crosshairs of the investigators.

The Kyiv Independent server pointed out that in September of last year, Shurma confirmed that his brother’s company had received money from the Ukrainian government for solar power plants in Russian-occupied territories as part of renewable energy subsidies during the large-scale invasion. He denied the allegations of wrongdoing.

Another presidential employee, Zelensky’s deputy chief of the general staff, Oleh Tatarov, was accused in 2020 of bribing an official before he entered the presidential office. According to the server, the Attorney General’s Office and the courts prevented the case from being resolved, and it was finally closed in 2022.

“I was shocked by the unprecedented pressure in the Tatarov case,” a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told the Kyiv Independent.

Gorbatuk, a former top investigator of the Prosecutor General’s Office, believes that NABU did not take all the necessary measures to face the closure of the Tatarov case. The Kyiv Independent server noted that the case was closed under Kryvonos’ predecessor, Artem Sytnyk, and the office did not attempt to reopen it.

One of the problems, according to the server, is that officials from the president’s office do not fall under NABU’s jurisdiction and must be investigated by the State Investigation Bureau under Ukrainian law. Another problem, they say, is that NABU cannot independently tap the phones of presidential employees and must ask the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to tap them. The head of the SBU is appointed by the parliament at the request of the president.

And in the meantime, blood continues to flow at the front.

The Russians proved that they control all of Avdijivka. According to Washington’s Institute for the Study of War (ISW) this is evidenced by geolocated footage. According to Russian pro-war bloggers, Russian forces are doing so well that they can launch an attack on another village – Pervomajsk. One of the attacks heading beyond Avdijivka, however, is said to have been repulsed by the Ukrainians. It was an attack by mechanized units the size of a Russian battalion, which was supposed to happen over the weekend.

“Positional fighting continued at Kreminna on April 1, but no changes were confirmed on the Kupjansk-Svatove-Kreminna line. Positional fighting continued west of Kreminna near Terna and south of Kreminna near Bělogorovka. Positional clashes continued west and southwest of the city of Donetsk on 1 April, but no changes to the front line in the area have been confirmed. Russian bloggers claimed that Russian forces were making tactical advances in Novomychaylivka and that heavy fighting was taking place in and around the settlement. Russian forces reportedly advanced in the western Zaporozhye region on 1 April, but no changes to the front line have been confirmed. A Russian blogger claimed that Russian forces were advancing west of Verbov (east of Robotyne), but ISW has not recorded visual confirmation of this claim,” the institute described the battle situation.

ISW informs

ISW informs

ISW informs

ISW informs

Server European truth, however, pointed out, that the war is getting more expensive for Russia after all. As a result of Western sanctions. Russia’s isolation is said to limit the number of countries with which it can conduct direct trade, increasing the time and cost of goods it could previously freely purchase. Research by the Bank of Finland’s Institute for Economics in Transition shows that third countries charge price premiums of more than 60% for exports of certain sanctioned goods delivered to Russia, the review said.

According to the British Ministry of Defence, sanctions against Russia have also made it more difficult to sell weapons to other countries. Data from the Stockholm Institute for Peace Studies shows that the Russian Federation’s share of the world arms market has decreased to 11% in the period 2019 to 2023, compared to 21% in the period 2013 to 2018.

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war in Ukraine

Reports from the battlefield are difficult to verify in real time, regardless of whether they come from any side of the conflict. Both warring parties, for understandable reasons, may release completely or partially false (misleading) information.

You can find brief information regarding this conflict updated by ČTK several times an hour on this page. PL editorial content discussing this conflict can be found on this page.

author: Miloš Polák


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The article is in Czech

Tags: Ukraine Blood flows front money Zelensky


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