On March 6, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Semen Kryvonos, head of the State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning, to the position of Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).
According to the Anti-Corruption Center (AntAC), there may be reasonable doubts about the independence of Semen Kryvonos as the Director of NABU, given his connections with the deputy head of the President’s Office, Oleksiy Kuleba.
Kryvonos’s wife, Halyna Polsynska, was the head of the department of supervision for the first deputy head of the Kyiv City State Administration when this position was hold by Oleksiy Kuleba. From January 24, 2023, Oleksiy Kuleba was appointed to the position of deputy head of the President’s Office. Before that, from May 2022, Kuleba also headed the Kyiv Regional State Administration.
Semen Kryvonos also has close ties with Tymur Tkachenko, former business partner of Oleksiy Kuleba from Asper Estate LLC (40884190).
In the declaration for 2018, Tkachenko indicated that he uses the apartment of Kryvonos’ wife Halyna Polsynska in Kyiv. Instead, Kryvonos’ declarations indicate that since January 1, 2018, he has been using a 2012 Audi Q5, owned by Tymur Tkachenko’s wife, Hanna Tkachenko. It is noteworthy that in the declaration for 2019, Kryvonos does not indicate the owners of the car.
Until recently, Tkachenko and Kuleba jointly managed the сшен improvement department of the Kyiv City State Administration. When in 2021 Kuleba was promoted from the position of head of the department to deputy head of the Kyiv City State Administration, the unit was headed by his deputy and ex-partner Tkachenko. According to the Mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klychko, Kuleba was recommended to him for work in the Kyiv City State Administration by the head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak. According to Bihus.info, Kuleba’s department was “the only one that bypassed police and SBI searches during the confrontation between Vitaliy Klitschko and the President’s Office for control of the capital.”
Does this all mean 100% that Kryvonos is controlled by Bankova? According to the AntAC, it is too early to draw unequivocal conclusions. However, the available information gives rise to well-founded suspicions.
The AntAC promises to continue meticulous monitoring of NABU’s activities. As always, we will be sure to report both the positive results of their work and possible problems. And we will definitely not miss it if we see signs of encroachment on the Bureau’s independence by other authorities.
At the same time, the AntAC reminds of the need to conduct an annual international audit of NABU’s work, as provided by law. So far, such an audit has never been conducted, which must be changed during the tenure of the new director.