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Holding those responsible for syphoning money from procurements.

Watchdogging for public procurement of drugs.

Map Ukrainian Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

Foreign partners condition Ukraine to fight corruption. We are monitoring how Ukraine implements these obligations.

Exploring corruption and learn to fight it.

Helping to return the money stolen by corrupt officials back to Ukraine.

Yurii Lutsenko, Ihor Kotvitskyi, Borys Lozhkin, Rinat Akhmetov and Other VIP-Road Code Violators – Investigation

Public officials are supposed to be an example of orderliness – as they make and enforce laws. However, it is often the other way round in Ukraine: those with power easily avoid just punishment.

It is well-known that impunity entails permissiveness. Officials vested with power manage to break the Criminal Code – what can prevent them from violating the rules of the road?

There seem to be untouchables on Ukrainian roads even after the notorious State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate was replaced by the Patrol Police.

July 13, 8:45 pm. MP Vitalii Khomutynnyk of “Revival” group, and MP Andrii Ivanchuk of “Narodnyi Front” group go out of the Prosecutor General’s Office doors.

MPs Vitalii Khomutynnyk and Andrii Ivanchuk leave PGO
MPs Vitalii Khomutynnyk and Andrii Ivanchuk leave PGO

 

MPs get into the same car and set off in a three-car motorcade.

In a few minutes three cars approach the traffic lights on Druzhby Narodiv boulevard. Green light changes to yellow. The moment red light is on, all three cars are off.

Three-car motorcade sets off at the red traffic light.
Three-car motorcade sets off at the red traffic light.

 

The other day, the “Schemes” production crew recorded the motorcade of MP Oleh Liashko, the leader of the Radical Party, cross the double solid line.

The motorcade of MP Oleh Liashko, the leader of the Radical Party, crosses the centre line.
The motorcade of MP Oleh Liashko, the leader of the Radical Party, crosses the centre line.

 

Meanwhile, Pavlo Vovk, Head of Kyiv District Administrative Court, leaves his car in the street, despite the road sign “No stopping”.

Pavlo Vovk, Head of Kyiv District Administrative Court, parks his car next to the prohibitory sign.
Pavlo Vovk, Head of Kyiv District Administrative Court, parks his car next to the prohibitory sign.

 

The production crew of “Schemes” (joint project of Radio Liberty and UA:Pershyi TV-channel) recorded numerous such incidents while watching the state officials moving around Kyiv.

Mysterious Road Accident

June 30, 7:30 pm, Kyiv. A motorcade of two SUVs turns from Volodymyrska Street to Rylskyi Lane. The latter is oneway only, so the motorcade drove into the oncoming lane.

A Motorcade of two SUVs violates the traffic code...
A Motorcade of two SUVs violates the traffic code…

 

In a few minutes, the production crew recorded a road accident involving two cars – a taxi, and a SUV of the motorcade.

... as a result, a road accident happens involving a taxi and a motorcade’s SUV with undercover registration plates.
… as a result, a road accident happens involving a taxi and a motorcade’s SUV with undercover registration plates.

 

The SUV completely blocks the carriageway. The SUV’s registration plates are undercover, so they are missing in the Police database.

The SUV has undercover registration plates.
The SUV has undercover registration plates.

 

A bodyguard and a driver inspect the car. While the taxi driver makes a phone call, the bodyguard takes away the SUV’s registration plates and hides them inside the car.

The bodyguard took away the registration plates and is taking them to the car.
The bodyguard took away the registration plates and is taking them to the car.

 

Later the camera records the front registration plates are already missing as well; one can notice flashing beacons.

Flashing beacons are under the grille.
Flashing beacons are under the grille.

 

When the bodyguard and the driver are examining the damage, one can notice that the SUV is armoured. The second SUV can be seen near the business centre entrance.

Meanwhile, in an hour and a half the police do not arrive to the road incident site. The bodyguard has been calling someone for all this time. When policemen come he shows some ID twice.

cars

Meanwhile, in an hour and a half the police do not arrive to the road incident site. The bodyguard has been calling someone for all this time. When policemen come he shows some ID twice.

The bodyguard from the SUV shows policemen some ID twice.
The bodyguard from the SUV shows policemen some ID twice.

 

Overall, the SUV driver virtually does not speak to the police. However, the bodyguard emphatically explains something to the police officers all the time.

The SUV bodyguard emphatically explains something to the police officer all the time.
The SUV bodyguard emphatically explains something to the police officer all the time.

 

After the road incident is registered, the SUV with no registration plates leaves the site in plain view of the police. Later the SUV appears near the other motorcade’s SUV in front of the business centre in Rylskyi Lane; it has then the registration plates.

And now the SUV has its registration plates again.
And now the SUV has its registration plates again.

 

In order to find out, who uses this motorcade, one has to wait close to the business centre. At 11:40 pm the bodyguard, that is already familiar to us, opens a door, and ex-Head of the Presidential Administration, current Secretary of the National Investment Council Borys Lozhkin comes out.

 Borys Lozhkin, ex-Head of the Presidential Administration, comes out of office accompanied by bodyguards.

Borys Lozhkin, ex-Head of the Presidential Administration, comes out of office accompanied by bodyguards.

 

He does not get into a car, but he walks accompanied by two bodyguards, and the motorcade leaves the parking of the office building.

Driving in the Oncoming Lane – on a Road to Restaurant

A day prior to the road incident, June 29, the same SUVs were parked in front of the same office. The camera recorded Borys Lozhkin coming out of his office and getting into the car.

Borys Lozhkin is in front of that very office.
Borys Lozhkin is in front of that very office.

 

The motorcade starts and again drives Rylskyi Lane against the oncoming traffic.

Motorcade of Borys Lozhkin, ex-Head of the Presidential Administration, drives in the oncoming lane.
Motorcade of Borys Lozhkin, ex-Head of the Presidential Administration, drives in the oncoming lane.

 

Can it be that Borys Lozhkin is in such a hurry for some state affairs that his motorcade has to violate the rules of the road?

In 5 minutes the very same cars were parked in front of a metropolitan restaurant.

According to the “Schemes” sources, the police drew up a report of road incident involving the car used by Mr. Lozhkin – but entered a car with a different registration plate. It is unclear whether the car’s driver is in the report, as the bodyguard offered his name to be registered in the report, the sources say.

“Schemes” sent an inquiry to Borys Lozhkin asking him to comment on his motorcade’s repeated violations of the traffic code. Besides, we applied for explanation on what grounds ex-Head of the Presidential Administration uses car with flashing beacons and undercover registration plates, and whether the police drew up any traffic code violation reports in relation to this car.

“B. Lozhkin is using Lexus LX-570 car, owned by his wife N. Shalomova (refer to B. Lozhkin’s statement). According to the operative data, the right of B. Lozhkin to enjoy state guard service was temporarily prolonged after his discharge from the post of the Head of the Presidential Administration. Department of the State Guard believes it is appropriate to use undercover registration plates on his car.

June 30, 2017, the aforementioned car was involved in the road incident. The policemen that arrived at the site, drew up a report. No other reports were drawn up for violation of the rules of the road by Lexus LX-570 car, registration plates AA 8175 BO”, – the Borys Lozhkin’s press service submits the answer.

For Whom Double Solid Line Is Not an Obstacle?

July 12, Hrushevskyi Street, Kyiv. A Mercedes, with the latest KA 7777 series registration plates is parked in front of a famous clothing store, an escort Land Cruiser is nearby. In a short while, the two-car motorcade leaves the parking spot blocking other cars to cross the centre line in direction of the Yevropeiska Square.

The motorcade blocks oncoming traffic to drive out.
The motorcade blocks oncoming traffic to drive out.

 

In less than a minute, right across the Memorial to the first victims of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, the motorcade again crosses the centre line – just 100 m behind the patrol police vehicle.

The motorcade crosses the centre line 100 m behind the police vehicle.
The motorcade crosses the centre line 100 m behind the police vehicle.

 

Why didn’t the policemen fine the motorcade? They told they are on a mission, though confirming it was a violation. Yet they say they did not notice neither the violation, nor the motorcade itself.

The production crew previously recorded violations of the same motorcade in the same place.

The same place, the same violation.
The same place, the same violation.

 

In a few days the same Mercedes was seen parked beside the restaurant in 100 m from the Presidential Administration. The car is parked on the pavement.

The familiar car is parked on the pavement.
The familiar car is parked on the pavement.

 

The interest shown to the car is not welcome – an escort SUV blocks the production crew vehicle when Mercedes is to leave. Land Cruiser stops at the crossroads and block the production crew vehicle, until the Mercedes is far enough. In 2 hours the motorcade is already beside another restaurant. This time it is parked under the “No stopping” road sign.

 

And again a case of parking in a prohibited place.
And again a case of parking in a prohibited place.

 

Some people that present themselves as the policemen prevent the production crew from filming this, even regardless the press cards.

Some people that present themselves as the policemen prevent the “Schemes” journalists from filming.
Some people that present themselves as the policemen prevent the “Schemes” journalists from filming.

 

The policemen say the murder was attempted on a guarded person and they have a demand to the journalists: “Could just disappear so that we don’t see you?”

A person guarded by the police staff and who’s motorcade methodically violates the traffic rules is Ihor Kotvitskyi, “People’s Front” MP and business partner of the family of Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs.

Avakov’s associate Ihor Kotvitskyi.
Avakov’s associate Ihor Kotvitskyi.

 

The “Schemes” recorded that Mr. Kotvitskyi is escorted by a guard with an assault riffle while coming out and getting into the car.

Mr. Kotvitskyi is escorted by a guard with an assault riffle while coming out and getting into the car.
Mr. Kotvitskyi is escorted by a guard with an assault riffle while coming out and getting into the car.

 

In a few days the production crew again spots Mercedes used by MP Kotvitskyi on the same pavement. The policemen come at once. When asked about the reason of violation, the answer: “Sometimes there are nuances when one can deviate from the traffic rules if it is necessary”.

In a week Kotvitskyi’s motorcade again violates the rules of the road. This time the cars cross the centre line on the way to Hyatt Hotel – while the crossroads good for the U-turn is in 100 m.

Kotvitskyi’s motorcade crosses the centre line – less than 100 m from the crossroads.
Kotvitskyi’s motorcade crosses the centre line – less than 100 m from the crossroads.

 

“Schemes” sent an inquiry to MP Kotvitskyi asking why his vehicle violate the rules of the road and how many reports on such violations were registered in relation to his car in the last year.

MP Kotvitskyi answered on his Facebook page: “Alongside many politicains, I use travel time as a opportunity to do the paperwork, plan my day, make phone calls. Therefore, I am strictly a passenger, and I do not track what is going on around a car. So, the question whether there were any reports relative to this car,  is to be submitted to the National Police, I did not receive anything.”

In the comments under Kotvitskyi’s post, the journalist asked whether MP assumes there are might be some exception when traffic rules can be violated. But MP did not answer.

Is Everything Allowed to the Prosecutor General on the Road?

July 11, at 4 pm, the Verkhovna Rada is to consider stripping several MPs of their immunity. 10 minutes before the meeting starts, two Toyota Camry cars, used by Yurii Lutsenko, Prosecutor General, make their wat to the Parliament via Klovskyi Descent. The motorcade drives into the oncoming lane crossing the double solid lane.

The motorcade used by Yurii Lutsenko, Prosecutor General, drives into the oncoming lane.
The motorcade used by Yurii Lutsenko, Prosecutor General, drives into the oncoming lane.

 

Lutsenko’s motorcade permanently resorts to such violation to avoid driving in traffic congestions.

And snother crossing of the centre line.
And snother crossing of the centre line.

 

This winter the “Schemes” recorded Lutsenko’s motorcade driving to the Main Department of the Security Service of Ukraine crossing the centre line. Besides, the motorcade drives into the ongoing traffic lane if it does not want to drive in a big traffic jam.

some cars 2

The editors sent an inquiry to the Prosecutor General’s Office to learn what are the reasons for permanent violation of the traffic rules by Prosecutor General’s motorcade, but there was no answer.

“King of Donbas” Feels Like King of the Capital Roads?

Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s motorcade also attracted attention of the journalists. The production crew see him at first on Yevropeiska Square, then – on Heroyiv Stalinhrada Avenue.

Rinat Akhmetov’s motorcade.
Rinat Akhmetov’s motorcade.

 

The production crew’s vehicle does not approach close the motorcade, but two escort cars stop and block journalists in the middle of the road. As the latter tries to detour, those cars nearly run into it, provoking a road incident. Blocking continues for about 5 minutes.

Rinat Akhmetov’s escort cars nearly run into the “Schemes” journalists vehicle, provoking a road incident.
Rinat Akhmetov’s escort cars nearly run into the “Schemes” journalists vehicle, provoking a road incident.

 

Both escort cars are owned by Delta-Donbas LLC that is into private security activities. It also owns other cars of Akhmetov’s motorcade; Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov is a final beneficiary of the company.

The editors sent an inquiry to Rinat Akhmetov asking why cars of his motorcade violate the traffic rules, but there was no answer.

Parking near the Verkhovna Rada

Filming in the Verkhovna Rada roundabouts for several days, the journalist could not help noticing great difference sharp distinctions of Hrushevskyi Street – completely free the day Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the NATO, gave his speech in the Parliament, and extremely crammed next day due to numerous cars left near the Verkhovna Rada ignoring the traffic code.

Two days in the Verkhovna Rada block, and what a huge difference!.
Two days in the Verkhovna Rada block, and what a huge difference!

 

For instance, a car used by MP Ihor Kononenko is parked on the crossroads violating the rules of the road.

A car used by MP Ihor Kononenko is parked right on the crossroads.
A car used by MP Ihor Kononenko is parked right on the crossroads.

 

Cars used by MPs Yechen Heller and Andrii Ivanchuk are also parked on the crossroads, in the “No stopping” road sign zone.

Cars used by MPs Yechen Heller and Andrii Ivanchuk are parked where it is prohibited to leave vehicles.
Cars used by MPs Yechen Heller and Andrii Ivanchuk are parked where it is prohibited to leave vehicles.

 

The production crew spots the policemen talking to a Mercedes driver parked in “No Stopping” road sign zone.

Something interesting is happening near this car.
Something interesting is happening near this car.

 

The reinforcement arrives to the policemen. In a few minutes they encircle the car with human chain.

A car is inside a human chain.
A car is inside a human chain.

 

The policemen refuse to speak on the reasons of such action. Later “People’s Front” MP Yevhen Deidei come out to them.

Yevhen Deidei comes out to the police.
Yevhen Deidei comes out to the police.

 

He talks to a police officer, says goodbye – and the encirclement disbands. Meanwhile the camera captures a driver presenting the policemen an ID with MP Yevhen Deidei’s picture.

Here is an ID the driver showed the police officer.
Here is an ID the driver showed the police officer.

 

The “Schemes” learnt from its own sources that the aforementioned car is owned by Transmag Engineering LLC. The founder of Transmag Engineering is also founder of MNPK VESTA Private JSC alongside MP Denys Dzenzerskyi. However MP Dzenzerskyi gets into ther Mercedes when comes out of the Verkhovna Rada.

Let us remind that MP Dzenzerskyi’s aide allegedly lent money to Deidei – this way they tried to explain the source of young MP’s family funds to purchase multiple real estate property.

The “Schemes” sent an inquiry to the National Police asking whether there was a report registered relative to that car, and what the violation was. They refused to provide the data inquired referring to the traffic code violation information being confidential.

Besides, the editors sent inquiries to Serhii Kniaziev, Chief of the National Police, and Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs, asking them the questions as follows:

  • What is the current statistical data of the traffic code violation and traffic incident on Ukrainian roads?
  • Has the reform of the police had any positive impact on the statistical data?
  • Is there any practice of treating some registration plates, vehicles, official as untouchable and allowed to violate the traffic rules?

Artem Shevchenko, Head of the Communication Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine answered the “Schemes” providing a comment: “The statistical data on the number of road incidents is not encouraging. 76,622 cases were registered in the country, which is by 6.1% more than in 6 months of 2016. As of this moment, in H1 2017, 433,324 orders and 82,421 reports on traffic code violations were registered. In H1 2016 there were 381,255 orders and 57,657 reports. Unfortunately, people interpret any liberalization, easing or more humane treatment by the police on the roads as a signal for permissiveness. There are no untouchables for the patrol police. Another matter is operative investigation activity or guard measures that can require sometimes to violate the traffic code – this might be the reason.”

by Mykhailo Tkach, Schemes TV-ptoject