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Anti-corruption activist accuses authorities of fabricating political cases against him

by Alexander Khrebet March 11, 2024 12:34 AM 2 min read
Vitaliy Shabunin (L) speaks at the Ukrainian school of political studies on Sept. 26, 2019. (Ukrainian school of political studies/Facebook)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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Vitaliy Shabunin, head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center's executive board, said on March 9 that the State Investigation Bureau had launched criminal cases against him for alleged draft evasion and forgery.

Shabunin, who joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a volunteer at the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022 and has served since then, denied the accusations and said the cases were fabricated. He believes the cases to be a political vendetta against him by President Volodymyr Zelensky's deputy chief of staff Oleh Tatarov.

Shabunin has regularly criticized Tatarov, who was charged with bribery in 2020. The case against Tatarov has been obstructed by law enforcement agencies and closed.

Tatarov and the State Investigation Bureau were not available for comment.

The story first broke out on March 7, when journalist Volodymyr Boiko said the State Investigation Bureau had initiated two criminal investigations against Shabunin based on allegations of document forgery and military service evasion.

Shabunin posted a photo of his military ID card, which indicates that he joined the Ukrainian army on Feb. 25, 2022.

The request for an investigation came from Rostyslav Kravets, a journalist who has regularly lambasted Shabunin and other anti-corruption activists.

“Attacks by media and law enforcement on those whom the President's Office considers its enemies will continue,” Shabunin said in a Facebook post.

He added that those who attacked the home of anti-corruption journalist Yurii Nikolov and conducted illegal surveillance of journalists of Bigus.Info media investigative outlet have not been faced any charges so far.

Yurii Nikolov, one of Ukraine's prominent investigative journalists, said on Jan. 15 that he received a visit from unidentified people threatening him.

Ukrainian investigative media outlet Bihus.Info reported on Feb. 5 that the Security Service of Ukraine was behind illegal surveillance of the outlet's team, after which a video appeared online showing some staff members allegedly using drugs during a private party.

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