The press center of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has reported to Kyiv Post on its priorities and results during Russia’s full-scale invasion. In particular, notices of suspicion (an essential step during pre-trial investigations) have been served against the former heads of the ARMA, State Tax Service of Ukraine, nine lawmakers of different factions, and others.

Competition for the role of NABU director is in progress and the competition commission has admitted 50 people to participate. This follows former director Artem Sytnyk stepping down last April due to the end of the term of office. Since then, the bureau’s first deputy director, Gizo Uglava, has been acting head pending election of a new director. Kyiv Post contacted NABU’s press center to find out how the bureau is working during the war.

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Focus on war crimes and special operations

From the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion, NABU has cooperated with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and military intelligence. The bureau has also been involved in a number of special operations; its special forces have assisted in demining liberated territories from the enemy, and it has provided protection of the government quarter.

NABU detectives have also been active in recording war crimes committed by Russian forces, sharing relevant experience with colleagues from other law enforcement agencies, searching for assets of sponsors of Russian terrorism both in Ukraine and abroad, and finding and neutralizing activities of collaborators.

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In the fight against corruption, NABU’s activities were accelerated by the appointment of the head of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) in July 2022, following two years of discussions. Since then, there have been several key revelations and progress in high-profile cases, such as Rotterdam+, Ukrnafta, and PrivatBank.

Access to information in wartime

NABU detectives need information on the activities of state-owned enterprises to combat corruption. This is fraught with greater difficulties in the east and south of the country, in combat zones or temporarily occupied territories. This can affect the speed and course of investigations.

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Anti-corruption investigations during the war

Since the beginning of the war, NABU has issued 156 notices of suspicion. and brought forward 57 criminal proceedings. Those served with notices of suspicion by NABU and SAPO spanning the first 11 months of 2022 include:

·       The former head of ARMA;

·       The former head of the State Tax Service of Ukraine;

·       The former chairman of the board of a state bank (later the Head of the National Bank of Ukraine);

·       The former head of the Poltava Regional State Administration and his deputy;

·        Nine lawmakers of Ukraine from different factions (including three current ones – Andrii Derkach, member of the pro-Russian party OPFL, Oleksandr Trukhin and Anna Kolesnyk from the Servant of the People faction);

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·        Six heads and members of the governing bodies of state-owned enterprises;

·        Five judges.

From 11 months of work, NABU has sent 44 cases out of 111 to court and seized funds worth more than one billion Hr. (27.4 million).

Anti-corruption reform continues despite the war. The head of SAPO was appointed, competition for the election of a new head of NABU continues, and judiciary is being reformed. Eight members of the High Council of Justice have been elected, while competition for the election of members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine continues.

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