The High Anti-Corruption Court adopted three decisions regarding the rectors of two russian and one Crimean universities, and also considered the issue of confiscation of former President Viktor Yanukovych’s property. TI Ukraine explains what exactly should be transferred to the property of the state.
What will the state receive from the fugitive Yanukovych?
On December 14, the Anti-Corruption Court decided to confiscate the assets of former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in favor of the state.
Before that, on October 12, the National Security and Defense Council decided to block these assets. And on November 16, the Ministry of Justice already filed a lawsuit for confiscation with the HACC.
Among the confiscated property from Yanukovych are:
- Recreation and health center and a residential building (with an area of 825.8 sq.m) located in the village of Novi Petrivtsi (Vyshhorod district, Kyiv Oblast),
- several parking spaces in the underground parking, an apartment, and a house,
- a Brig vessel,
- 100% shares in the authorized capital of Tantalit LLC, as well as in Dom Lesnika LLC,
- cash in the amount of UAH 31,047,676.73 and USD 84,964.60,
- 537 historical, cultural, and material assets, works of art (paintings, antique furniture, etc.), the estimated value of which is more than EUR 18,778,000.
It is noteworthy that the October decision of the National Security and Defense Council concerns not only the assets of Yanukovych, but also Serhiy Kurchenko, Pavlo Lebedev, and Oleh Derypaska. Therefore, we expect new lawsuits with the Anti-Corruption Court.
“It is important to identify the specific institution responsible for managing the confiscated assets, as well as to make the process itself as transparent as possible. Otherwise, the responsibility will be blurred, and after the decision to confiscate, we will not see other results,” says Nataliia Sichevliuk, legal advisor at Transparency International Ukraine.
What is confiscated from (pro)russian rectors, and who are these people?
Moreover, in just a week and a half, the Anti-Corruption Court considered cases on the confiscation of the property of three (pro)russian rectors and adopted appropriate decisions. We are talking about the rector of the V. I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University Andrei Falaleev, the rector of the Belgorod State National Research University Oleg Polukhin, and the rector of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations Anatoly Torkunov.
All three defendants in these proceedings in early March 2022, following russia’s invasion of Ukraine, signed a letter in support of Putin’s actions.
Andrei Falaleev has been rector of the V. I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University since 2020, that is, he assumed this position during the occupation of Crimea. Prior to that, he was acting rector since 2017.
In addition, in 2022, Falaleev was also a member of the commission for the preparation and conduct of the All-russian population census in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. As a result, the occupation authorities sought to identify persons holding a Ukrainian passport and belonging to the Crimean Tatar national minority to repress and deport them, as well as to establish the number of men to be drafted.
On November 24, the Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit to impose sanctions on Falaleev in the form of recovery of property in favor of Ukraine. And on December 5, the HACC satisfied the claim and decided to confiscate Falaleev’s apartment with a total area of 74 square meters because Falaleev, together with Torkunov, supported the criminal appeal of the russian Union of Rectors regarding the war in Ukraine.
On December 7, a panel of judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court upheld the claim of the Ministry of Justice filed against the rector of the Belgorod State National Research University, Oleg Polukhin.
According to the decision of the HACC, Polukhin’s apartment will be recovered to the state income, with a total area of 324.5 square meters, located in Crimea, as well as his share of the authorized capital (25%) in LLC “STAV-2003.”
Who is Polukhin? In May 2012, he headed the National Research University of Belgorod State University. In 2015, he was elected MP of the Belgorod Oblast Duma of the VI convocation.
At the same time, Polukhin is a member of the United Russia party, a member of the Presidium of the Political Council of the Belgorod Regional Branch of the united russia party. He was also awarded the Orders of Friendship and Honour of the russian Orthodox Church, three Orders of the russian Orthodox Church, a medal “for service to the land of Belgorod” of the 1st degree, as well as a set of medals “Third russian Military Field” of the 1st degree.
Anatoly Torkunov is the rector of Moscow’s State Institute of International Relations and three times the confidant of Putin in the elections. He is also a friend of Sergey Lavrov, the head of russian MFA, and until recently, he headed the Board of Directors of the Channel One.
On November 26, the Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit for the confiscation of Torkunov’s Ukrainian assets on the grounds that he:
- bears responsibility for ideological support for the actions of the aggressor country by disseminating the ideas of denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine;
- promotes support for the actions of Russia’s senior political leadership;
- justifies military actions against Ukraine and contributes to the genocide of the people of Ukraine, crimes against the territorial integrity of Ukraine and against humanity.
In particular, on March 4, 2022, he supported the appeal of the russian Union of Rectors, in which they supported the military aggression of russia against Ukraine.
Thus, the russian Union of Rectors in its appeal:
- insists that the horrific events taking place in Ukraine are not a military attack by russia on Ukraine, but a “conflict between Ukraine and Donbas”;
- insists on the need to “denazify” Ukraine;
- insists that russia was forced to carry out an attack on Ukraine to “protect itself from the growing military threats”;
- insists on supporting the russian armed forces;
- creates the image of the russian president as someone who “makes complex but necessary decisions.”
For the above reasons, the HACC decided to recover Torkunov’s assets, namely the apartment, with a total area of 114.5 square meters and the ground floor, with a total area of 19.1 square meters.
These four decisions of the HACC, as well as its resolution on the assets of the russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov, are just the beginning in the process of considering cases related to the confiscation of the assets of russians and other persons who supported russia’s aggression in Ukraine. However, it is already possible to understand how the next decisions will be adopted and what to expect from such cases.
That is why our experts plan to thoroughly analyze all the decisions of the HACC regarding the confiscation of russian assets after such decisions are published. And after such analysis, Transparency International Ukraine will share its results with the public.
This publication was prepared with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of Transparency International Ukraine and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.