Wave of raids across Ukraine targets former Income Ministry officials, 23 detained
Twenty-three officials of the former Ministry of Income and Fees have been detained as law enforcers launch raids across Ukraine, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor Anatoliy Matios said on TV, according to UNIAN.
“I think this is the largest anti-corruption operation ever held nationwide. The investigation revealed some UAH 96 billion of damage to the state. And now the headquarters [of the operation is located here since the coordination of detentions of suspects throughout the country is being held in a special operational mode. They will be brought here, and Anatoliy [Matios] will take them to court,” Avakov said, according to 112 Ukraine.
“At the moment, over 1,700 operatives of the National Police and about 500 military prosecutors are conducting 454 searches on the territory of 15 regions of the state. Simultaneous arrests of a number of people are underway due to the need to bring them to court to choose a preventive measure. With the assistance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Guard, they will be delivered by air and suspicion notices will be issued, to submit to the Kyiv Pechersk District Court for consideration our petitions for choosing a preventive measure, i.e. the arrest,” Matios said.
According to Matios, some people have already been detained and a preventive measure is being chosen.
“Now there is an operation concerning the chiefs and deputies of 15 regional departments of the [former] Ministry of Income and Fees, the so-called state tax administrations, which had a direct relationship to the organization of the functioning of the so-called tax platforms, or program companies, or transiters for tax pits, as a result of which the state was underpaid. In fact, the criminal organization of Yanukovych, Klymenko and those who were still in Ukraine, was able to enrich itself at the expense of taxpayers for the amount of UAH 97 billion, which was proved by the investigation,” the military prosecutor explained.
Ukrainian army TV releases showing aftermath of militant Grad shelling of Avdiyivka
A video showing the consequences of a militant attack on the older part of the Ukrainian-controlled town of Avdiyivka in Donbas from the enemy’s 122mm Grad-P portable rocket launchers was uploaded on YouTube channel by the Military Television of Ukraine, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
The State Emergency Service officers show what’s left of the exploded shells. A representative of the local police said that one person was wounded in the head as a result of the militant shelling of Avdiyivka.
It should be recalled that on May 23, Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted an attack on the old part of the Ukrainian-controlled town of Avdiyivka in Donbas, using 122mm Grad-P portable rocket launchers.
“Rockets have hit houses at 96 Kolosova Street and 3 Levanevskoho Street.
Fortunately, no one was injured there, [but] at 45 Lermontova Street, a local man was wounded in the head,” deputy chief of the National Police of Ukraine and chief of the local police in Donetsk region Viacheslav Abroskin wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, May 23.
NATO chief says blocking of Russian sites in Ukraine is issue of security
The decision of the Ukrainian leadership to block some Russian online services and social networks on the territory of the state is an issue of security, not freedom of speech, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a press conference on the eve of the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25.
“The Ukrainian leadership has decided to close these sites as a measure to strengthen security, not to limit the freedom of speech,” the head of the Alliance said.
At the same time, he stressed that the field of freedom of speech is part of the dialogue between NATO and Ukraine.
He noted that now many countries and organizations were subject to cyber attacks.
“We see how vulnerable many societies are against cyber attacks. And therefore, NATO has significantly increased our own cyber defenses. We are also working with partner countries, including Ukraine, on how we can help them to strengthen their cyber networks, cyber defense,” he said.