Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Head of Ukraine’s biggest alcohol holding denies charges of funding Russia’s war: 'Hope it's not a corporate raiding attempt'

by Alexander Khrebet December 30, 2023 2:34 PM 2 min read
Yevhen Cherniak, the founder of Ukraine’s Global Spirits that owns the Khortytsia Distillery and Odesa Cognac Factory. (Yevhen Cherniak/Instagram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Yevhen Cherniak, the founder of Ukraine’s Global Spirits alcohol producer, on Dec. 30, denied Security Service (SBU) charges of sponsoring Russia’s war.

The day before, SBU and Prosecutor General’s Office said they believe Global Spirits has not ceased business operations with Russia after Feb. 24, 2022, when Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, paying around $157.8 million (Hr 6 billion) in taxes in Russia in 2022.

Cherniak and six top managers of Global Spirits were charged with “assisting the aggressor state,” with the maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.

Cherniak, one of the richest Ukrainians, said his companies are not doing business with Russia. Global Spirits said it had revoked its product and distribution licenses in Russia after Moscow unleashed its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

“Neither I personally nor the company I founded have violated anything, but like many Ukrainian businesses, we find ourselves in a situation that I sincerely hope is a mistake rather than an attempt to pressure businesses with the goal of a raiding attack on the market leader,” Cherniak said.

According to the SBU, Cherniak's enterprises in four countries in Central Asia and South Caucasus have been purchasing large volumes of alcohol from Russia.

Cherniak said that he and his company's management don't have anything to do with the companies in mentioned in the case.

“I have never been and am not currently the owner or official of these enterprises, have never leased them, and no one from the company's management is an official or beneficiary of these companies and plants mentioned in the case,” he said in a Facebook post on Dec. 30.

According to the SBU, these enterprises allegedly purchased industrial volumes of alcohol and other related products from Russia for the production of alcohol that was exported to Russia and the U.S.  Cherniak denies it.

Cherniak now faces charges both in Ukraine and in Russia.

In July, Russia’s Investigative Committee launched an investigation into Cherniak on charges of sponsoring terrorism and has added him to its wanted list on suspicion of financing Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Russia’s law enforcement agency also said it was looking to seize Russian assets “in the nearest future,” where Cherniak is the beneficiary. Russia’s investigative committee hasn’t specified the names of companies.

In 2021, before the full-scale invasion, Forbes Ukraine ranked Cherniak as the country’s 19th wealthiest businessman, with an estimated net worth of $470 million.

His company, Global Spirits, is best known for its flagman vodka brand, Khortytsia.

Talking business in Ukraine: CEO of Ukraine’s largest grocery chain on navigating war, plans for future
After being pruned by the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s largest supermarket chain, ATB-Market, is fighting to grow back bigger and better. Like the German chains Aldi and Lidl, ATB prioritizes low prices and big selections. This proved popular with shoppers — the company entered the full-scale war wi…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
2:29 AM

United Russia party secretary resigns.

The move is regarded as a demotion initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appointed Andrei Turchak earlier this month to serve as governor of the Altai Republic in southern Siberia.
10:53 PM

Finnish president: Ukraine in a 'position of strength' for path to peace.

Finnish President Alexander Stubb noted that this week has favored Ukraine. He highlighted the G7 summit, the start of EU negotiations, NATO support, and Ukraine's summit, which gathered over 100 representatives. "(Ukraine is) much stronger than what it was three weeks ago, let alone three months ago," he said.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.