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HOT ANTICORRUPTION NEWS / Issue #154
October 2, 2020
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Today's issue:
 
- AntAC launches campaign to name Kremlin agents in Ukrainian Parliament and ban their visas;
- How anti-Western actors in Ukraine are using pro-Russian troll armies; 
- PG Venediktova saved another Servant of the People's MP from the prosecution; 
- Pechersk court fines Vitaliy Shabunin for late submission of asset declaration;

- recommended reading
AntAC launches campaign to name Kremlin agents in Ukrainian Parliament and ban their visas
On September 17, 2020, the vote in the parliament for the controlled Selection commission for the selection of the head of the SAPO became a litmus test identifying MPs who do not care about the European future of Ukraine. These MPs openly showed their pro-Russian position and deliberately put at risk the visa-free regime with the EU for the people of Ukraine. Although most of theses MPs and their families enjoy living and travelling in the West as well as hide their assets there.

We at AntAC consider this unfair. Thus, we launch #VisabanKremlinAgents project visaban.antac.org.ua in which we identify the Western assets of MPs and their family members, investigate the source of their wealth and carefully record the pro-Kremlin activities of those MPs.

Based on the gathered facts and using international legal instruments, we will request foreign governments to ban the visas/entrance and freeze assets for those who implement Kremlin agenda and policies in Ukraine. 

We start with dossiers infamous Oleksandr Dubinskyi and Viktor Medvedchuk.

Oleksandr Dubinskyi is a close associate of oligarch Igor Kolomoyskyi. Dubinskyi is using his powers as an MP to protect the oligarch's interests. He is constantly spreading misinformation and attacking reform-oriented institutions and people as well as Ukraine's cooperation with the EU and the IMF. Together with MP Andriy Derkach (already sanctioned by the US) Dubinskyi attempted to interfere with US presidential campaign. Dubinskyi has a lot of questionable assets, among which is a Slovak company. 

Viktor Medvedchuk is head of the pro-Russian political party "Opposition platform For Life". Medvedchuk has family ties with Vladimir Putin and is executing the will of Russian president in Ukraine. Medvedchuk controls at least 3 national Ukrainian TV channels, which he uses to spread disinformation and anti-West propaganda across the country, particularly targeting the population of Eastern-Southern Ukraine. Medvedchuk has extensive business empire, most of which is registered in the offshore jurisdictions and Cyprus.

How anti-Western actors in Ukraine are using pro-Russian troll armies

UkraineWorld.org studies the narratives and practices of anti-Western actors in Ukraine. In the recent report, they established that to promote their narratives, anti-Western actors in Ukraine are actively using the concerted actions of troll armies. These troll armies massively retweet their content, thus multiplying their messages and making them more visible on social networks. This inauthentic behaviour seeks to deceive the public discourse by pretending that the messages they sent are liked and shared by real people.

PG Venediktova saved another Servant of the People's MP from the prosecution

On September 30, Schemes investigative project revealed that PG Iryna Venediktova refused NABU to open criminal proceedings against MP Pavlo Khalimonov from Servant of the People in a bribery case. The latter was demanding a bribe of 40 mln UAH (~$1.5mln) from a local businessman, who reported this to NABU. Currently, further investigation of the offence is impossible because the detectives could not proceed with documentation of the crime.

Pechersk court fines Vitaliy Shabunin for late submission of asset declaration

On September 30, the head of board of AntAC Vitaliy Shabunin was fined for late submission of asset declaration (he was late for half a day). The case was brought to Pechersk court by the police. Judge Bilotserkivets didn't take into account that violation was unintentional and even his own practice in dozens of similar cases. Vitality has to pay fine 850 UAH (~$30) and probably will be included to register of corrupt officials.

Vitality Shabunin and other board members of AntAC are voluntarily submitting their annual electronic asset declarations from the moment the system is established to set an example on transparency and compliance. This year Vitaliy was obliged by law to submit the declaration as member of NAPC head's selection commission. AntAC believes that this incident will be used in the ongoing smearing campaign against the organisation.
Recommended Reading 
Copyright © *2020* Anti-corruption Action Centre*, All rights reserved.

Should you have any questions or comments please contact Tetiana Shevchuk at tshevchuk@antac.org.ua

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