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SBU: Kherson regional council member supplies Russia with fuel, food

by Elsa Court November 27, 2023 8:50 PM 2 min read
The sign “Kherson Oblast” stands on a roadside on June 22, 2023, in Kherson. (Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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A Ukrainian regional council member in Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast is suspected of treason for supplying Russian occupying forces with fuel and food through multiple companies under his control, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Nov. 27.

The council member, Yurii Kovalev, re-registered more than 20 companies in his control under Russian legislation, the SBU said.

One company owned by Kovalev reportedly exported over 35,000 metric tons of Ukrainian grain to Russia this year, worth Hr 140 million ($3.86 million) in total.

Kovalev also controls gas stations that refuel Russian military equipment, including tanks, and a company that supplies ration packs for some of the Russian soldiers occupying in the region, the SBU said.

These companies pay taxes and fees to the Russian state budget, with one of his agricultural companies paying over $33,000 to Russia in August 2022 alone, according to the SBU.

Kovalev's younger brother, Oleksii Kovalev, was a Ukrainian MP who was murdered in August 2022 in Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast.

In the months before his death, he had openly admitted to cooperating with the Russian authorities in the region.

The older Kovalev, who still lives in Russian-occupied territory, has been notified in absentia of being suspected of treason and collaborationist activity, the SBU said.

"Comprehensive measures are being taken to bring him to justice."

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