Former presidential advisor Arestovych confirms that Zelenskyy failed to fight corruption in entourage

Sat 8th Apr, 2023

Former advisor to the Office of the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovych said that Volodymyr Zelenskiy failed to overcome corruption in Ukraine. He said this in a new interview on Yulia Latynina's YouTube channel. According to him, there should be a person in power who wouldn't engage in corruption and wouldn't let his subordinates do it. In his opinion, there is no such person in power today and "unfortunately, so far we have not been lucky. "He (Zelensky, - ed.) has not completely beaten corruption, examples abound. It is clear that you can say that there was a war, that there were two waves of covid. But from my point of view, the war is just a good occasion to apply extraordinary measures and to deal with corruption. But as we can see, unfortunately, not to the end yet," said Arestovich.

Arestovych also cited the story of the former head of the Zaporizhzhya Regional Military Administration Oleksandr Starukh, who together with the leadership of the region was caught "stealing humanitarian aid by wagons," a position "to which the president personally appoints a person." "As we can see, the personnel selection is lame, badly. And then, he didn't do it for a day, not two days - he did it for months," Arestovych noted.

Let us remind you that people from Zelensky's close entourage have been marked in dozens of major corruption scandals lately.

People's deputy of Ukraine Geo Leros, who was expelled from the pro-government faction "Servant of the People" for his criticism of the Office of the President, accused the management of OPU of embezzlement of 500 million hryvnias. Leros analyzed the testimony of the deputy head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, which directly described the schemes used to siphon huge sums from two state enterprises - the Odessa Port Plant and the United Mining and Chemical Company. According to Leros, Zelensky's inner circle took part in the schemes: Dmitry Sennichenko, former head of the State Property Fund; Timur Mindich, co-owner of Kvartal-95 studio (owner of the apartment where Zelensky lived during the election and where the president celebrated his birthday at the height of the coronavirus pandemic); Zelensky's assistant and business partner Sergiy Shefir (OPU's chief communicator with oligarchs); and current "overseer" of the tax administration Andriy Gmyrin. "Sennichenko siphoned off UAH 500 million from the budget with the help of the Office of the President, this is a loss to the state, this is money that has settled in the accounts of representatives of the Office of the President of Ukraine" - said Leros. Details of the schemes and dozens of other involved persons are also confirmed by journalists of the media outlet, which received copies of the testimony of the former deputy head of the SPF Sergiy Ignatovsky. According to these documents, Shefir and Mindich directly told former SPF head Sennichenko, who is now wanted, how to set up schemes to withdraw funds.

"The Odessa Port Plant has always been a corrupt feeding trough for the authorities in Ukraine, which is why the tenders for its privatization have always been disrupted. Instead of profits for the budget, the "controlled" directors were appointed there, who left the enterprise unprofitable, and then concluded unprofitable for the state tolling agreements with specially selected private firms, ostensibly to save the plant. In reality, the planned unprofitability allowed the profits to be transferred to private enterprises, while the losses were left to the state-owned enterprise. This was exactly the scheme set up by President Vladimir Zelensky's entourage. The NABU records show a discussion about the appointment of the right person, the private business in whose interests the appointment is made, and the money to be received by those involved in the deal," the well-known Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov adds.

Another person from Zelenskyy's inner circle - the head of the "Servants of the People" faction, David Arahamiya, has been accused of corrupt collusion with a raider who is trying to bankrupt a member of the "grain corridor" - a large grain terminal in Odessa port. This is stated in an investigation by the Business Censor website. According to the journalists, Arahamiya is lobbying the interests of the American foundation Argentem Creek Partners (ACP) in a conflict with the Ukrainian holding company GNT Group. GNT Group is a Ukrainian stevedore and agricultural exporter that took a $75 million loan from ACP in 2019. Because of the war with Russia and covid restrictions, repayment of the loan was difficult, but with the start of the grain corridor, the company had the ability to settle the loans. But after Arahamia met with lender representatives in Vienna, the lenders curtailed restructuring talks and began enforcing debt collection in the height of the grain corridor. At the same time Arahamia was caught in a lie, as he covered his meetings in Vienna with the status of the head of the supervisory board of the government office on attraction and support of investments UkraineInvest. After that the office was forced to deny this information and justify that they knew nothing about Arahamia's meetings. The asset that ACP wants to take over from the GNT Group is worth about $200 million, although the loans with interest is about $120 million. $80 million difference is a weighty argument for the corrupt officials in the Ukrainian government, the media write.

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