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Serhiy Pashynskyi. (Sternenko/Telegram)
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Former lawmaker Serhii Pashynskyi, suspected of illegally appropriating almost 100,000 metric tons of state-owned oil in 2014, was released from custody on bail, Pashynski said on social media on Feb. 27. The bail was set at Hr 272.5 million ($7.1 million).

Pashynskyi claimed that the bail was paid in full by the National Association of Ukrainian Defense Industries, a union of Ukraine's defense manufacturers.

"I am so grateful for such colossal support, but I am also very embarrassed that the funds that should have been used to make weapons were used to bail me out on fake charges,"  the former lawmaker said, promising to repay the money.

Pashynskyi said on Feb. 12 that the members of the SBU and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) had searched his home, reportedly in connection with an almost 10-year-old investigation into controversial Ukrainian businessman Serhii Kurchenko.

Kurchenko, who fled Ukraine in 2014 and is accused of funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into his own pockets from selling state-owned natural resources, has lived in Russia since he departed from Ukraine.

According to the SBU, Pashynskyi and his accomplices conspired to appropriate the oil confiscated from Kurchenko via a specially created state company. The conspirators then allegedly sold the oil to companies owned by their associates.

The SBU said that the company received payments in full from the Defense Ministry for the oil but only delivered less than 2% of the promised total. The remaining oil was allegedly sold to customers in Russia and Belarus through a third-party company.

Pashynskyi and the other individuals reportedly involved in the plot pocketed the profits. The former lawmaker has denied the accusations.

The investigation is ongoing, and Pashynskyi and his accomplices may face up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Who is Viktor Pavlushchyk, newly-elected head of key Ukrainian anti-corruption agency?
Viktor Pavlushchyk was chosen on Feb. 25 as the head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP) - one of Ukraine’s main corruption fighting bodies. The Cabinet of Ministers has yet to formally appoint him as the head of the NACP. Pavlushchyk is a detective at the National Anti-Corrupt…
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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