Former freelance adviser to the Office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Artem Shylo is suspected of heading a group that embezzled money from Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways), Kyiv Post sources in law enforcement said.

Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) reported on Telegram on Tuesday, April 2 that it, along with the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, uncovered a criminal group that had embezzled Hr.94.7 million ($2.4 million) from Ukrzaliznytsia, through a scheme where they purchased transformers at nearly twice their cost.

As of now, the leader, co-organizer, and two members of the group have been detained, NABU stated.

Shylo’s name has appeared in many journalistic corruption investigations, and he is linked to Oleh Tatarov, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office.


When Kyiv Post reached out to NABU regarding Shylo, the anti-corruption agency responded that it could neither confirm nor deny Shylo's involvement in the alleged criminal group because it does not release suspects’ names until court decisions have been made.

In its post, NABU stated that from June to December 2022, the leader of the criminal group, by controlling officials at Ukrzaliznytsia, ensured the selection of a predetermined company as the railway company’s supplier of power transformers at an inflated cost.

Shylo allegedly arranged the preparation and submission of the letter “Regarding Threats to State Security” to the State Security Council, which was used to reject offers from other procurement participants with better prices.

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According to law enforcement officials, the “winning” company is controlled by a Belarusian citizen with ties to Russia.

As NABU reported, this “winner” used a company registered in Bulgaria to purchase transformers from a manufacturer in Uzbekistan and resell them at inflated prices to Ukraine.

Ukrzaliznytsia suffered nearly $2.5 million in losses between 2022 and 2024, which the crime's participants took possession of and disposed of at their discretion, NABU said.


Through the efforts of detectives and prosecutors, a Ukrainian court seized Hr.53 million ($1.4 million) from the supplier company's bank accounts.

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