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Ukraine’s Crackdown on Corruption: Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky in Custody Amid Wartime Focus

Fraud, Bribery & CorruptionUkraine's Crackdown on Corruption: Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky in Custody Amid Wartime Focus

One of Ukraine’s wealthiest individuals, Ihor Kolomoisky, has been taken into custody on suspicion of fraud and money laundering, as Kyiv seeks to demonstrate progress in its crackdown on corruption during wartime. Kolomoisky’s bail was set at $14 million, but he intends to remain in custody for two months while appealing the ruling, questioning its legality.

Kolomoisky was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2021 due to his involvement in significant corruption. The U.S. suspected that he and a partner laundered money through the United States, a claim Kolomoisky denies. He supported President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine.

In his address on Saturday, President Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainian law enforcement officials for their efforts to address cases that have been hindered for decades. Zelenskyy has made fighting corruption and illicit financial dealings among officials and well-connected businessmen a priority. Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s billionaire oligarchs, is the most prominent figure to become a target, and Zelenskyy aims to equate wartime corruption with treason.

The White House has acknowledged Ukraine’s progress in combatting corruption and safeguarding the autonomy of crucial government institutions. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan emphasized the importance of independent, impartial law enforcement and judicial institutions to any democratic society during a meeting with Ukrainian anti-corruption officials.

President Zelenskyy emphasized Ukraine’s steady advances against Russian forces and criticized Western criticism of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Ukrainian forces have made progress in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, though the operation has faced obstacles like minefields and entrenched Russian forces.

In a separate development, Russia claimed to have thwarted a naval drone attack on a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula. Three unmanned boats allegedly sent by Ukraine were destroyed. The bridge has been targeted repeatedly during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, two cargo vessels have sailed from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports despite concerns of Russian attacks. They sailed through a temporary corridor for civilian ships established by Ukraine after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement for safe grain exports from Ukraine.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an effort to revive the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain deal. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to discuss grain exports ahead of the meeting.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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