President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Oleh Kiper as the new head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration. The official decree announcing Kiper’s appointment was published on the presidential office’s website on Wednesday, May 31.

Oleh Kiper began his career in 2001 in the prosecutor’s office and has held various positions within the offices of the Odesa and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

During the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, Kiper served as the deputy head of the prosecutor general’s office. His appointment at that time was made by the controversial Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka.

However, in October 2014, Kiper was prohibited from holding public office as part of the “lustration of power” law. This ban was later deemed groundless by the District Administrative Court of Kyiv in 2019, which has been known for its controversial decisions.

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By the beginning of 2020, Kiper received an offer to become one of the non-staff advisers on a voluntary basis to Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, Ukraine news outlet Antikor reported.

Most recently, starting July 27, 2020, Kiper held the position of Prosecutor of Kyiv, chosen by then Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, whom Zelensky had suspended after the anti-corruption bureau accused her of lying before Parliament. Kiper’s tenure was marred by a scandal when it was revealed by the media that, despite martial law, he had travelled abroad during the New Year holidays at the end of last year.

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