In Ukraine, the security service – SBU, announced that it had revealed an illegal paramilitary company.
According to the investigation, it was founded by the former commander of the “Donbass” battalion Semyon Semenchenko and a freelance agent of the NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine) Yevgeny Shevchenko, who used to be a driver for Semenchenko when he fought in Eastern Ukraine.
Both were accused under “creation of an illegal armed group.”
In addition to Semenchenko and Shevchenko, three more “Donbass” volunteer battalion members were suspected of taking part in PMC creation – Alexander Novikov (call sign “Hammer”), Sergei Akimovich (“Akim”) and Igor Orlenko (“Sobol”). All three were detained.
While awaiting trial, Yevgeny Shevchenko began to comment on the case and report new details about it.
Ukrainian outlet Strana reported on what his claims were.
Strana spoke with the NABU agent who is involved in this case. He denies any connection with Semenchenko’s military company. At the same time, he confirms that it existed and was based in Vyshgorod.
He said that he was at this base once to talk to ex-People’s Deputy Semenchenko.
“This is a separate company of Semyon Semenchenko, to which I have nothing to do: neither to the creation, nor to the functioning. This can be confirmed by any employee of this company. I was at this base only once in November 2018, then I was just flying to Afghanistan, if I’m not mistaken, I needed to talk to Semyon. I was in a hurry to the airport, drove up for five minutes, talked to Semenchenko and left. We then planned to organize a security company to work under contracts with the US Department in Syria and Afghanistan to protect facilities, trained people “, said Shevchenko.
Shevchenko also denies information about the arms trade with weapons received from uncontrolled territories, as previously reported by the SBU.
“Ask your sources, they followed me for half a year. Why have no weapons or explosives been recorded, or that I transported it somewhere, passed it on to someone. I am ready to go through a polygraph, because this is complete nonsense. I have never brought neither weapons nor explosives to Ukraine. Moreover, I did not do business in this direction. Considering that they listen to my phones for six months, put cameras at my home and in the car. There is nothing suspicious about this. Where is the evidence, video, photos? Why I was not detained during some operation when I allegedly transported explosives? For me this is some kind of show,” Shevchenko said.
On March 26th, Pechersk court will choose a measure of restraint for the suspect and, as Shevchenko himself suggests, he will be sent to a pre-trial detention center, because “an order has been received from the President’s Office.”
On the eve of the meeting, Shevchenko said that the SBU had informed him of the change in suspicion.
“Now I am also a criminal because I helped to defense our state,” he explained.
Apparently, this is what the SBU announced – that it charged Shevchenko and Semenchenko with importing military products from Russia.
Shevchenko has already stated that his accusation may be related to the alleged import into Ukraine of klystrons – spare parts for the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, which are produced only in Russia.
He said that during the search, law enforcement officers were looking for these klystrons at his house. At the same time, they were looking for the same products at the houses of the former managers of Ukroboronprom.
At the same time, in an interview with the media, he confirmed that he was engaged in the supply of such equipment for Ukoboronprom from Russia and said that they took place within the framework of secret operations of the special services. Since in the Russian Federation there is a ban on the export of such spare parts to Ukraine.
The SBU devoted a separate briefing to this topic on the same day. They said that Shevchenko was importing klystrons at an inflated price – buying them in Russia for $ 30,000, and selling them to the Ukrainian defense industry for $200,000.
The suspicion on this episode was also handed over to entrepreneur Andrei Rogoz, a defendant in “Swinarchukgate” in March 2019. He was a member of the Svinarchuk Jr. group, through which parts were sold at inflated prices, judging by the published correspondence, to the enterprises of Ukroboronprom through gasket firms.
On the published screenshots from Telegram, the SBU shows what Shevchenko and Rogoza were talking about. They were discussing the price of the klystrons.
“My opinion is that the price for a set of klystrons should be around $200,” Shevchenko writes.
And then, finally, no conspiracy and accusations towards inconvenient individuals in Ukraine “linked to Russia” can be complete without mentioning the mythical Wagner PMC.
Yevgeny Shevchenko believes that the head of the “Opposition Platform: For Life!” Andriy Yermak was involved in this case because of the disruption of a special operation on the “Wagner group.”
“It all started six months ago, when I accused Ermak of treason to disrupt a special operation against Wagner PMC. My friend was one of the leaders of this operation and took a leading role. I learned that there was treason, that they were planning such an operation. I wrote about it on Facebook. That’s all my participation,” Shevchenko said.
“A week ago, I was interviewed by Christo Grozev. As an insider. I think that just after that they got the command” face “, they say, why am I still not behind bars, and I give interviews to Bellingcat. And then hastily searches and handed the suspicion. The investigation began after I wrote publicly about it, and the searches and suspicion – when I gave an interview. Maybe this is, of course, a coincidence, but I am weak in this I believe,” Shevchenko said.
A group of supporters of Poroshenko and NABU has now begun to spread the topic with the Wagner personnel – trying to present the whole case as political persecution in revenge for Shevchenko’s participation in British film about the failed Ukrainian operation in Belorus.
The Bellingcat “investigation” into Wagner is to be published somewhat soon, and it is interesting what conspiracy will be stirred with it.
Until then, this is yet another example of how due process runs in Ukraine, and how “Europe’s youngest democracy” deals with those inconvenient to the government.
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