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Law enforcement searches Sumy, Chernihiv officials

by Dinara Khalilova October 26, 2023 1:23 PM 2 min read
Acting Sumy Mayor Yuliia Pavlyk who replaced Oleksandr Lysenko after he was accused of accepting a bribe. (Sumy City Council)
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Ukrainian law enforcement has conducted searches at the office of acting Sumy Mayor Yuliia Pavlyk in connection to the alleged misappropriation of state funds, Suspilne Sumy reported on Oct. 26.

The raid at the Sumy City Council is related to the procurement of winter clothing for the city's volunteer defense formations, the head of the council's legal department told Suspilne media outlet.

Law enforcement has also searched local companies that may be involved in the case, according to Nataliia Kalynovska, a spokesperson for Ukraine's National Police.

Sumy Mayor Oleksandr Lysenko was removed from his position on Oct. 9 after being accused of accepting a bribe of Hr 1.4 million ($38,000) together with Oleksandr Zhurba, the head of the city's infrastructure department. Pavlyk replaced Lysenko in his post.

Officials accused of using war as pretext for hiding ill-gotten wealth
As Ukrainian soldiers are defending their homeland on the front line, officials in the rear are accused of using the war as a pretext for hiding their wealth. They are able to do so because one of Ukraine’s main anti-corruption tools, the asset declaration system, has been effectively eliminated.

Oleksandr Lomako, acting mayor of Chernihiv, said on Oct. 26 that the State Bureau of Investigation came to search his home.

"Exactly one day after my (social media) post about the attempt of the city military administration and its head Bryzhynskyi to avoid responsibility for the tragedy in the Drama Theater," Lomako said on Facebook.

The Bureau confirmed the search at Lomako's home to Ukrainska Pravda media outlet, saying that it was sanctioned by the court and had nothing to do with his Facebook posts. The law enforcement agency added it would share the details later.

Russia's Aug. 19 missile strike against the city of Chernihiv hit the local drama theater, among other places, killing at least seven people and injuring 156. Following the attack, there have been unconfirmed reports in Ukrainian media that the missile was targeting a site where Ukrainian drone producers were holding an exhibition.

As some commentators criticized the choice of the exhibition location, the organizer said it was agreed with local authorities, but they denied it.

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