Home / World / Ukraine News Today Apr. 28, 2017: $1.5 bln recovered from accounts of former Ukrainian president Yanukovych; OSCE reports increase in shelling in Donbas

Ukraine News Today Apr. 28, 2017: $1.5 bln recovered from accounts of former Ukrainian president Yanukovych; OSCE reports increase in shelling in Donbas

Ukraine News Today: $1.5 bln recovered from accounts of former Ukrainian president Yanukovych, his aides; OSCE reports increase in shelling in Donbas, militant tanks, Grads; OSCE SMM refuses to recognize explosion of its vehicle in Luhansk region as accident
Ukraine News Today Apr. 28, 2017: $1.5 bln recovered from accounts of former Ukrainian president Yanukovych; OSCE reports increase in shelling in Donbas

$1.5 bln recovered from accounts of former Ukrainian president Yanukovych, his aides

The court’s decision to transfer to the state budget of Ukraine $1.5 billion, arrested in the accounts of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage, came into force today, April 28, the press service of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine reported with reference to the joint statement by NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov and Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, according to UNIAN.

The management of the state-owned Oschadbank has started to execute the court decision and, together with the State Treasury, is drawing up these funds to state accounts, according to Turchynov. The issue of asset recovery has dragged within the parliament for some year and a half when a bill on special confiscation was submitted but the Verkhovna Rada refused to support it, Turchynov said.

“Considering that the Verkhovna Rada has not been able to make this decision, I want to thank the Prosecutor General’s Office, personally the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, that they dealt with the case professionally, without unnecessary PR, and were able to not just get a decision on preliminary confiscation, but a court verdict, the final decision on transferring these funds to the accounts of the State Treasury – to the state budget of Ukraine,” Turchynov said.

The NSDC Secretary has called this decision of the court a principled one because “these funds provide for financing of the State Defense Order, the security and defense sector.”

“In addition, I am convinced that in addition to security and defense, a significant part of the funds can be used to finance serious social programs, social protection of our citizens,” Turchynov said. “The NSDC Secretary and the Prosecutor General reported to the president about the confiscation of money stolen by the Yanukovych regime,” presidential press secretary Svyatoslav Tsegolko said.

As reported earlier, on January 28, 2015, the State Financial Monitoring Service blocked $1.42 billion in accounts of non-resident companies related to Viktor Yanukovych, his relatives, officials of the former government and related persons.

OSCE reports increase in shelling in Donbas, militant tanks, Grads

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has reported an increase in shelling and the deployment of tanks and Grad MLR systems in the occupied territory of Donbas, according to a daily update, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.

“The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In Donetsk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 240 explosions compared with the previous reporting period (110 explosions),” the OSCE SMM said in a report based on information received as of 19:30 local time on April 26, 2017.

In Luhansk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations compared with the previousreporting period (one shot), including 125 explosions. The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons, in implementation of the Package of Measures, its Addendum, and the Memorandum.

“In non-government-controlled areas, the SMM again saw one tank (T-64) with a front-mounted mine sweeper near “DPR”-controlled Nikishyne (60km north-east of Donetsk) and continued to observe seven multiple-launch rocket systems (BM-21 Grad, 122mm), seven self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), ten towed howitzers (five D-30  Lyagushka, 122mm; and five 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm), and seven tanks (T-72) at an aerodrome in the south-eastern outskirts of Luhansk city,” the OSCE SMM said.

The SMM observed armored combat vehicles and an anti-aircraft gun in the security zone. The SMM saw one armored personnel carrier (APC) (BTR-80) heading north-east on road T1309 near government-controlled Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk).

In non-government-controlled areas the SMM saw: an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23-2) mounted on an undetermined tracked vehicle parked in front of a house at the north-eastern edge of Pikuzy (formerly Kominternove, “DPR”-controlled, 23km north-east of Mariupol) and an APC (BTR-80) 1.7km east of Pikuzy with at least ten armed “DPR” members sitting on top heading south-west.

At the Luhansk aerodrome, the SMM saw 12 APCs (five MTLB and seven BTR–80), seven IFVs (BMP-2), 15 trucks and five vehicles for towing howitzers, all stationary. There were also over 500 armed men wearing military-style clothing.

OSCE SMM refuses to recognize explosion of its vehicle in Luhansk region as accident

The explosion of an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission vehicle in the militant-held part of Luhansk region was not an accident, OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug said, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

Six observers traveling via two armored vehicles were on their way back from a patrol mission in the morning of April 23; one of those vehicles hit a mine on the road it drove two hours earlier, Hug told a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday.

What happened was not an accident but the impact of a weapon, which was not supposed to be there, Hug said.

He blamed those who had promised not to lay mines for the incident. Parties to the Minsk process promised to clear mines and not to lay them again; the incident is being investigated, a number of organizations are looking into its details, and the OSCE SMM is conducting an internal assessment, Hug said.

On Tuesday, the OSCE SMM announced that the mission resumes patrolling in eastern Ukraine.