January 12, activists blocked the work of the largest tobacco distributor Megapolis-Ukraine, owned by the Mercury Group of the Russian oligarch Igor Kesaev, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to Korrespondent.
As Ukrainian MP Sergey Vysotsky wrote on his Facebook page, the action began early morning on Tuesday in Kyiv, Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Kovel, Ternopil and will run for three days.
At the moment, according to the deputy, the police squads came to the warehouse of Megapolis-Ukraine in Kyiv. The company, in turn, has brought a lot of so-called “titushkas” (civil mercenaries paid to instigate a violent fights amid the protesters) to the scene.
However, the protesters plan to spend the night there and call on everyone to join and support the blockade.
According to Sergey Vysotsky, Megapolis-Ukraine was established by the Russian company Megapolis and the family members of the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. The company actually became a monopolist in the Ukrainian tobacco market. Russian tycoon Igor Kesaev, the owner of Megapolis is a head of Russian charity foundation Monolith, which, according to Vysotsky, is supporting the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
Besides, Kesaev owns the Degtyarev munition factory, which supplies weaponry to the Russian army.
After fleeing from Ukraine in February 2014, ex-president Victor Yanukovych introduced Boris Kaufman – a businessman from Odesa region and one of the big contractors of his family business – to the board of Megapolis-Ukraine.
According to Vysotsky, activists have been trying to block the activity of Megapolis-Ukraine for six months by appealing to various authorities. He argues that the Antimonopoly Committee even has issued an ordinance to split and bring the company up on charges. Unfortunately, this decision brought no results, so therefore the activists organized a civil protest aimed to shut down the occupation business in Ukraine.
The banners say: “Megapolis’ cigarettes – shots at Ukrainian soldiers”, “Megapolis – the sponsor of Russian invaders,” “Kaufman – the Kremlin’s agent in Ukraine.”