Journalists of Ukraine's Skhemy (Schemes) TV program say the families of two members of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform For Life Party, Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak, received an oil refining business in Russia for a very low price during the occupation of Crimea by Russia in February 2014.
Read alsoRussian tanks in Donbas run on diesel fuel supplied from refinery owned by Medvedchuk's wifeIn particular, the journalists established that on February 27, 2014 (when the parliament building of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was seized in Simferopol) the said MPs' families became co-owners of the Novoshakhtinsky oil refinery in Russia's Rostov region, having received a 42% stake in the company for US$40,000. According to the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine, Russian tanks in the occupied Donbas use the fuel shipped by the refinery, RFE/RL's Ukrainian bureau wrote on March 26.
Also, a 60% stake in NZNP Trade also came under the control of the politicians' families. At that time, the company already had a license to develop the Gavrikovsky oil field in Russia for US$1,000. The oil reserves there are estimated at almost 137 million tonnes.
"As early as on the fifth day after the end of the Revolution of Dignity [in Ukraine in February 2014], Medvedchuk received a powerful source of funding for his political activities, a kind of 'Russian manger' that provided him with millions of dollars annually, and it cost for Medvedchuk and his associates a symbolic sum. Even cheaper than the Faberge set his wife mentioned in an asset declaration," the journalists said.
Earlier, both companies belonged to Russian billionaire Sergei Kislov.
"The plant, which gives millions in dividends, in which Kislov invested millions of dollars, was sold to [Natalya] Lavrenyuk and [Oksana] Marchenko [the wives of Kozak and Medvedchuk] for about US$40,000, which is almost a gift," analyst with the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC) Antonina Volkotrub told journalists.
Medvedchuk and Kozak refrained from answering journalists' questions.
Sanctions against Medvedchuk, Kozak, and their wives: Background
- On February 2, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky enforced the NSDC's decision to impose sanctions on MP Taras Kozak with the Opposition Platform – For Life party, as well as eight entities that are the founders of the 112 Ukraine, ZIK, and NewsOne TV channels that gained notoriety for spinning Russian propaganda narratives.
- The broadcasting of the TV channels in the digital multiplex and cable networks was suspended in the early hours of February 3. However, despite the ban, the broadcasts continued on YouTube.
- After the imposition of sanctions, Kozak's partner wife Natalya Lavrenyuk, and later Medvedchuk's wife, TV host Oksana Marchenko, have landed up on Ukraine's Myrotvorets ("Peacemaker") database, which lists individuals posing a threat to Ukraine's security.
- On February 19, 2021, the NSDC decided to impose sanctions on 19 legal entities and eight individuals. In particular, sanctions shall be applied to MP from the Opposition Platform For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko, as well as Kozak's partner wife Natalya Lavrenyuk.