Photo from UNIAN

Head of Ukraine's Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) Nazar Kholodnytsky has filed for resignation.

His resignation letter has already been signed by Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, as seen in a photo Kholodnytsky posted on Facebook.

Facebook / Nazar Kholodnytsky

"Today I can say with confidence that the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office and the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine will fulfill their mission. I thank my team for their dedication, honesty, and incorruptibility – we have been doing our job with dignity," Kholodnytsky wrote.

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Over the first five years of work, the SAPO has been tackling corruption schemes in the gas, oil, mining and nuclear energy, banking, public procurement, and at large state-owned enterprises, Kholodnytsky wrote, adding that the volume of investigated damage to the state budget amounts to over UAH 200 billion.

I thank my team for their dedication, honesty, and incorruptibility

At the same time, SAPO and the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine managed to prevent losses amounting to about UAH 50 billion, Kholodnytsky wrote. In the first half of 2020 alone, UAH 765 million was returned to the budget, he added.

Among the accused and prosecuted are "influential politicians, people's deputies, and highest state officials."

These include 16 people's deputies, 22 top officials, 47 judges, 68 heads of state enterprises, and 17 senior officials of state bodies.

What is SAPO

The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) is an independent structural unit of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, created in 2015, and is primarily responsible for supporting and overseeing criminal investigations launched by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), that's per Wikipedia.

The prospect of visa liberalization (visa-free travel to the Schengen Area) between Ukraine and the European Union was closely linked with the process of creating the SAPO.

In the latest memorandum with the International Monetary Fund signed over the approval of the Stand-by Arrangement, Ukraine committed to advancing good governance efforts and combatting high-level corruption. "We will ensure that the country’s new anticorruption institutions  – the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), and the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) – maintain their independence and integrity (including by providing them with adequate resources), to be able to effectively and credibly investigate, prosecute and adjudicate high-level corruption cases.