05 May 2023
Over the last weeks, I discreetly observed everything that was done to the businesses set up by me in Ukraine. Seeing numerous violations of the laws of Ukraine by a number of state bodies, I understood that the correct way was to calmly and consistently exercise the right to justice through judicial proceedings both in Ukraine and in foreign jurisdictions.
I understand that it is better to oppose lawlessness by legal means, not through, as it is popular to say now, ‘hype’ towards leaders of our state of various levels, as it is unpatriotic and wrong in time of war.
However, the intense actions of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in the persons of its officials, who are engaged in an outright seizure and re-allocation of businesses in Ukraine on the home front, call for my public response.
By skillfully playing on the feelings of our people through using narratives like ‘a pro-Russian oligarch’ and ‘aiding and abetting the aggressor state’, some leaders of the SBU have launched a series of raider actions towards the business which I have created and through which I have been investing in the development of the Ukrainian economy for many years.
The Security Service of Ukraine is spreading, one after another, statements concerning the sequestration of the corporate rights of companies and assets allegedly owned by me. The SBU has brazenly falsified a criminal case on my transferring the corporate rights of a number of companies to citizens of Cyprus, who have been artificially made ‘representatives of the aggressor state’ by manipulating data and concepts. In terms of law, the case is a gross falsification and has no judicial prospects. This case bears witness of the complete lawlessness taking place today.
In fact, some leaders and officials of the SBU have carried out forgery of facts and illegal actions for the purpose of gaining possession of liquid assets. As well as the Ministry of Justice, which, under the pressure of the fabricated criminal proceeding, has ignored not only Ukrainian laws but also international legislation by taking the right of ownership away from EU citizens and giving it back to me.
I am deeply convinced that it is nothing else but the implementation of a targeted strategy of those in power, aimed at taking away all the assets and transferring them for management to specific people, who are increasing their own wealth through the mechanisms of confiscation and sequestration. All of it is disguised as struggling against a ‘pro-Russian oligarch’ and combatting ‘aiding and abetting the aggressor state’.
What am I charged with?
Given the available materials of the criminal proceeding, the SBU is incriminating me, in addition to transferring assets to made-up ‘representatives of the aggressor state’, with:
1. Participating as an intermediary in the propagation of the ideology of the ‘Russian world’ through influencing the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC).
2. Financing persons connected with a Russian centre of influence (I take it that this is exactly how they define the UOC — without a court decision, members of the state authority and officials of security bodies just ‘think so’ — as well as ‘other financing of destructive activities in the interests of the aggressor state’.
3. Financing the activities of ‘pro-Russian minded’ hierarchs of the UOC.
4. Hindering the activities of the so-called ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’ (OCU).
5. Discrediting the autocephalous tendencies in Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
6. Discrediting hierarchs of the ‘OCU’.
7. Discrediting the Constantinople Patriarchate.
8. Impeding inter-denominational transfers of UOC religious communities to the ‘OCU’.
9. Purchasing a residence for the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, in Chernivtsi Region (it is presented as a desire to avoid publicity when holding private meetings with pro-Russian minded hierarchs).
As we can see, the reason for the criminal prosecution is my religious beliefs and my belonging to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And some persons from the SBU see in this a criminal offence, for which one should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law?!
The sequestration of assets formerly associated with my name coincided with the oppression of canonical Orthodoxy, attempts to take away the Kyiv Caves Lavra and the Pochayiv Lavra, persecution of senior clergymen, seizures of churches, and campaign to defame the clergy. I am being persecuted for my position regarding faith, and my constitutional right to freedom of religion is brutally infringed.
At the same time, a group of officials carrying out raider attacks upon business is operating in the country. The law simply does not exist. Instead, there is an extrajudicial form of punishment through imposing sanctions. As concerns me, the sanctions are completely trumped-up, and the case has been falsified.
It is important to underline that my case is not unique, this practice has become the norm today. Dozens of businessmen in Ukraine, in different regions, have become targets of criminal actions by state bodies, which block their activities and take away their assets on the grounds of far-fetched accusations under the pretext of the war.
I am addressing the Office of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine and the leadership of the Security Service of Ukraine: if you want to accuse me of anything criminal and illegal, where are the clearly formulated charges? After all, the investigation has already been going on for eight months! Where is evidence of my illegal activities? Apparently, it is absent, as well as grounds for registering criminal proceedings connected with my name and with the enterprises created by me over the 20 years of my activities in Ukraine. Not a single time have I been summoned for questioning, although I have more than once stated that I am ready to testify. I am ready to give answers to any questions of the investigation, but it seems that neither the SBU investigator nor the prosecutor have any interest in them. The investigation is actually hardly interested in the procedural actions with my participation. For, to put it simply, a plain seizure of a business in the interests of people close to the authorities is taking place. And all of it is happening under the loud slogan of ‘fighting for Ukraine’s spiritual independence’.
I, as well as my business, have been thoroughly examined at the request of the authorities throughout almost ten years, under both President Poroshenko and President Zelenskyi. They looked for dual citizenship — they did not find it. They looked for facts of collaboration with Russia — they found none. They looked for tax evasion or engagement in shadow business — they did not find it either.
That is why they have decided to follow the path of arbitrariness. The problem for the authorities is that they cannot bring any charges within the framework of the current legislation. So they have resorted to applying sanctions, which, according to the law, could be applied only if I had proven financing of terrorism on my conscience.
I am sure that lawfulness will be restored and everyone involved in the falsification of the cases will sooner or later be justly punished. All the more so because the chain of all the initiators and executors of this case and the whole sequence of taking the decisions are already known — from the moment of giving the order at the Office of the President of Ukraine to the instance of pressure exerted by specific officers of the Security Service of Ukraine upon officials of the Ministry of Justice, the Ukrainian Geological Survey, and other state agencies of Ukraine.
In this situation, as far as I know, the foreign beneficiaries who have suffered from the raider attack by Ukrainian state officials have already applied to law enforcement agencies and prepared lawsuits to be filed with Ukrainian and international courts for the purpose of restoring lawfulness.
Those who are committing lawlessness under the guise of patriotic slogans today will definitely get what they deserve — they actually have something to be held accountable for and something concrete to be charged with. And the time of punishment will come much sooner than they think.
All the charges against me and all the actions against the businesses I was involved with are built upon lies. And the truth will certainly prevail.
In spite of the unlawful sanctions, fabricated cases, blackmail, slander, and pressure, I nevertheless remain faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and intend to keep supporting canonical Orthodoxy, loving Ukraine, and providing aid to people who need support in this most difficult time.
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