Since the creation in 2011, the Department of International Legal Cooperation of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine was responsible for the unit’s cooperation with the related international authorities and organizations. It involved the handling of international informational requests, sending official letters for extradition or organization of cooperation of GBU with law enforcement agencies of other countries. Led by Evgen Pikalov, the department served as an administrative and image-making branch of the Prosecutor’s Office.
However, upon the nomination of the new Head Prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, and the subsequent arrival of Kostiantyn Kulyk and the squad, the department was turned into the corrupted investigation unit. Employees have used their power and privileged positions to “investigate” and extort citizens to enrich themselves. So how is it possible that the Department of International Cooperation, which was supposed to be the face of the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office on the International arena, has become the nest of the brutal and corrupted officials. Many questions are arising regarding the overall actions of the Department. It seems as if the Department lives its own separate life, outside of the Prosecutor General’s Office responsibilities and interests of Ukraine. Several names in this Department appear in various scandals involving fraud and illegal enrichment.
To better understand the situation, we would need to analyze top management officials of the department:
Evgen Pikalov – head of the department since its establishment. Technically, Pikalov’s functions include overseeing and observing the department. His duties are mostly administrative since he doesn’t make any major decisions, and his actions are controlled and guided by his deputies. Apparently, he is being well compensated for turning the head away. Based on his tax declarations, his income comes solely from the salary as a Prosecutor. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop him from owning a 192sqm elite apartment in Kiev, driving a Mercedes E-Class and a savings of over 100,000 Euro.
Potentially, he is a “hostage” as it seems like his deputies have some leverages on him.
Kostiantyn Kulyk – Deputy Head of the department. One of the well-known and corrupted prosecutors still in power in Ukraine. While serving as a Military Prosecutor of ATO Forces, he has been accused of illegal enrichment. Based on the accusations, his legal expenses exceed his income by 3 million hryvnias. During few years of him holding the position, he acquired few elite apartments in Kiev and number of land lots in Kharkiv Region. Based on the information received from his former colleague, Alexander Rujanskii, Kulyk brazenly and fabulously enriched himself as a Military Prosecutor in the anti-terrorist operation zone, by imposing his “interest” on the currency exchangers. There was also information that Kulyk had connections with a military commander in eastern Ukraine. The commander was later accused of working for Russian intelligence services while overlooking smuggling of drugs and weapons in region.
However, this income didn’t satisfy Kulyk’s appetite.
In 2014, for no apparent reason, the military prosecutor’s office was assigned with the investigation of the criminal proceedings of oligarch Sergey Kurchenko and other senior officials connected to ex-president Viktor Yanukovych. Abusing the assigned power, Kulyk and his boss Matias were trying to extort suspects and even announced price tags for resolving the issues. Based on the investigation report, they contacted Golovach ($ 2 million), the Katsub family ($ 2 million), Sukhomlin ($ 1.6 million and incriminating evidence about the illegal cigarette smuggling business Kaufman, Granovsky), Timonkin ($ 2 million), Tatkova, Emelyanova ($ 4 million for non-registration of criminal proceedings upon taking of bribe in the form of an office center), Krivoy ($ 2 million), and Ignatchenko ($ 1 million). They even flew to Israel for the meeting with the former Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Eduard Stavitsky. Based on the official statement from Stavitsky, Kulyk tried to collect the “fee” from him in exchange for the refusal of the GPU to extradite him to Ukraine.
Kostiantyn Kulyk was forced to resign after the accusations of illegal enrichment and was assigned to Deputy Head of International legal cooperation. Immediately, based on the direct request of head prosecutor Y. Lutsenko, the department was granted with additional authorities as an Investigative unit. Kulyktransferred the rest of his group from Donbas time: Yaroslav Dombrovsky, Adrian Lupu, Alexander Govorushchak, and others to the same department, which allowed the creation of a clan-corruption system. As as result, Kulyk and his team have great resources and powers to proceed with investigating only “Profitable” cases.
So, newly-appointed deputy initiates a dubious case involving the confiscation of UAH 40 billion from foreign investor accounts. The case was following a verdict against a corrupt official from the ex-president Yanukovich team. Most of the legal professionals call this case as a forgery and justification of illegal confiscation of capital. As apparently, a citizen of Kharkiv Arkady Kashkin confessed to being registering a fictitious company for $500 and was fully aware of withdrawing 40 billion by Yanukovich family.
At the same time, the case against Kulyk’s illegal enrichment is still underway despite the undeniable facts. It keeps getting delayed by failure of appearance of the suspect or unwillingness of judges to finalize the case. The only explanation is that scandalous Kulyk possesses number of compromising evidence on the ruling leadership, or he is protecting someone’s interests. Over the past five years, this security officer has made a dizzying career, acting as the protagonist in a series of “dark stories” and manages to come off clear from all the high-profile scandals. He stays in senior positions and decides the fates of other people. Kulyk’s continued presence in power illustrates the confusion of politics and criminal justice in Ukraine when investigations are used as a weapon in politics or business. Not surprisingly, the media is full of articles about the “lawbreaker” Kulyk, his corrupt practices, falsifications, as same applies to the Department itself; However, no action is being taken. What is this untouchable relic?
Yaroslav Dombrovsky – Deputy Head of the Department for Particularly Important Affairs of the Department of International Legal Cooperation, under Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. Dombrovsky has been a notable part of Kulyk’s team for the last ten years. He was the Deputy Head Military Prosecutor of ATO and subsequently joined Kulyk in the Department of International Legal Cooperation. Dombrovsky became “famous” when a video of him surfaced in March of 2016. In this video, he is waving a gun and attacking group of people who came to file a complaint at the Military Prosecutor office. The complaint was against injustice and unprofessionalism of one of the employees of the Prosecutor office. Subsequently, he decided to solve the issue in his own “professional” way by intimidating citizens of Ukraine.
Additionally, while serving as a military prosecutor, he was granted an apartment in Kharkiv by the Ministry of Defense without any legal grounds. Dombrovsky has never lived, or military served in Kharkiv, which is a direct violation of the Ministry’s policy. However, he fabricated Kharkiv residence documents and used dubious methods to get enrolled and granted with the complimentary apartment worth 2 million hrivnas. Apparently, price for the real estate in Kharkiv is much more attractive than in Krematorsk where he was supposed get one based on law.
Nonetheless, in 2015, a criminal case was opened against Dombrovsky on the Art. 121 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – intentional grievous bodily harm. Under the case, Dombrovsky was trying to impress two visiting ladies at his apartment with explosive devices. However, the presentation went wrong, and one of the grenades exploded in one of the lady’s hands, tearing off four fingers. It’s unknown what Dombrovsky did to “resolve” the issue, but the case was closed. Apparently, the lady found the explosives on the streets and Dombrovsky had never met them.
Dmitro Petrov – another Deputy Head of the Department of International Legal Cooperation and Euro integration. Petrov agitated and shocked Ukrainian public when reports of his lifestyle surfaced. He graduated from college at the age of 22 and was holding various positions at the Prosecutor offices and branches. Subsequently, he was assigned as a Deputy Head of the Department of International Legal Cooperation.
Based on investigation of “Narodna Pravda” newspaper, Petrov main income is the salary at his current position at the Prosecutor Office. However, according to the tax declaration, Dmitro Petrov is registered in an apartment of 80 sqm. in Kiev. Subsequently, in 2015, Petrov declares the purchase of two plots of land at a very attractive price. In the same year, two unfinished houses with an area of 152, and 279 sqm. in the village of Khodosovka of Kiev region appear on his declaration. It’s not clear how he funds the purchase of these real estate properties. Nevertheless, Petrov has not been shy of his expensive acquisitions. Furthermore, in 2016, he bought a new Toyota Corolla car, an ATV, Jet Ski, and two more trailers. Besides, the young prosecutor has a tremendous ability to save, as he declared 134,000 USD in his savings. And all of that, after becoming Deputy Head of International Legal Cooperation. Coincidence? As we can see, young Petrov has gained valuable experience while working with people like Kulyk, Dombrovsky, Pikalov, where you can carry out large house construction and purchase new cars on the “modest” Prosecutor salary.
There are number of loyal and dedicated people still work at the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. However, the corrupted Department of Legal Cooperation is disgustingly damaging the reputation of the Office. Department’s Head and its Deputies feel untouchable and unpunishable as they try to enrich themselves in the most obvious way. The department needs a complete makeover to save Ukraine from the shame of people like Kulyk, Dombrovsky, Petrov, Pikalov, and others. If Ukraine is looking for Euro Integration, the Prosecutor Office has to be positioned as a Law-abiding entity with honest employees. Unfortunately, the Department of Legal Cooperation of the Prosecutor’s General Office of Ukraine is far from it. Hopefully, the new administration will consider it, as it’s frustratingly obvious!