December 31, 2020
Today's issue:
- Explosive devices found near apartments of parents of Vitaliy Shabunin;
- Zelenskiy, Avakov, and corrupt judiciary join forces to save Oleg Tatarov from prosecution;
- Number of top corruption NABU cases are under external threat;

- recommended reading
Explosive devices found near apartments of parents of Vitaliy Shabunin

Late at night on December 30, an improvised explosive device was found at the doorstep of the apartment of the mother of Vitaliy Shabunin in Rivne. (Please read our official statement here). The next day the similar explosives were found near the apartment owned by Vitaliy's parents-in-law in Kyiv.  Although the PGO made a quick statement that the device found in Rivne did not contain explosive substances, we would like to wait for the official forensics result. Preliminary, the AntAC considers the incidents as a series of assassination attempts made to intimidate Vitaliy and entire AntAC team for our anti-corruption activities. 
We would also like to remind that on July 23, Vitaliy's house was arsoned. Perpetrators as well as instigators of that crime have not been identified yet. However, no matter who is the real instigator of this specific attack, it has been enabled by the inability of Ukrainian authorities to properly respond and investigate hundreds of previous attacks at civil activists that happened in recent years.

Zelenskiy, Avakov, and corrupt judiciary join forces to save Oleg Tatarov from prosecution
On December 23, the case concerning alleged corruption of deputy head of the Office of President Oleg Tatarov was illegally transferred from the jurisdiction of NABU/SAPO/HACC to the SBU, PGO and general courts. This was done through a series of illegal procedural decisions of PGO prosecutors and courts (including Supreme Court), The detailed timeline is explained here.
In fact, the Prosecutor General and his deputy saved Tatarov from pending arrest with bail in the amount of 10 million UAH. It seems that the President Volodymyr Zelenskyi was also involved in it. It is unlikely that he was unaware of such plan regarding rescue of close official from his own Office. In addition, Zelenskyi is the only one who can suspend Tatarov for the period of investigation or dismiss him, but he has not done this yet. Tatarov is entrusted with "coordination of law enforcement authorities" within the Office, thus, him being in the office during the investigation constitutes a direct conflict of interests and gives him powers to influence investigators. 
This week PGO prosecutor withdrew an appeal for the arrest of Oleg Tatarov. Prosecutor also said that he would review charges - whether they were substantiated enough.
On December 29, Arsen Avakov joined the efforts to rescue Tatarov. National Police charged ex-MP Mykytas (who presumably concluded a plea bargain agreement and made incriminating testimony against Tatarov) with kidnapping based on fabricated evidence. Case of Mykytas concerns the corruption scheme worth 81 mln UAH during procurement of flats for National Guard officers. So Avakov has double interest here - to save Tatarov and cover up misappropriation in his agency by silencing Mykytas and intimidating other potential witnesses.  NABU stated that police charges will potentially block their investigation.
Number of top corruption NABU cases are under external threat
PG Venediktova keeps interfering in the priority NABU investigations. As acting head of the SAPO, she jumbles with changing prosecutors in the top corruption cases, excluding diligent prosecutors and putting loyal ones for investigation oversight (as happened in Privatbank case). Also, they use the same scheme which is used in theTatarov's case whereas Pechersk Court adopts illegal decision to transfer a case from NABU jurisdiction and then the PGO "has to execute it" and legitimize it through a decision of Venediktova or one of her deputies.
For instance, on December 30, Pechersk court illegally ordered to take away investigation of record-breaking $5 million-bribe attempted to heads of NABU and SAPO by ex-minister Zlochevsky in order to close their investigation against his companies. The investigation is on final stage.
Also, according to media reports, Venediktova for two weeks blocks formal charges for suspects in Privatbank case. 
Recommended Reading 
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