#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Corruption: Zelensky fires his i. Terror alert in Russia. No F16 for Kiev


Judicial earthquake in the Ukrainian government. President Volodymyr Zelensky announced new personnel decisions after a wave of resignations: ”Now there is a certain personnel lull. But that doesn’t mean that all the necessary steps have already been taken. Decisions will be made. Those in the system who do not meet the basic requirements of the state and society should not sit in their current political chairs.”

The situation is very critical because the investigation into corruption is transversal and is currently a free-for-all, if it weren’t a democratic but totalitarian country one could think of a political coup d’état.

The house of Zelensky’s oligarch sponsor Kolomoisky was raided in connection with financial fraud. The media reports that the investigation concerns fraud on Ukrtatnafta and Ukrnafta. We are talking about the waste of petroleum products worth 40 billion hryvnia and the evasion of customs payments.

But that’s not all: according to the Ukrainian media, the customs sector will be eliminated: “Today, the entire leadership of the Ukrainian customs will be fired” according to the People’s Deputy Goncharenko. Sources of the Ukrainian news agency Strana confirm that the SBU has come with searches to some officials of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine. Former director of the Kyiv Region Public Procurement Department Bohdan Khmelnytskyi is underway. In particular, we are talking about the purchase of low-quality body armor for 123 million hryvnia. Sources also report that this is not the only defendant the Security Service is currently working on: other officials are also being searched, suspicions of military corruption at various levels are being passed on to them.

The State Investigation Bureau filed a complaint against the former head of Ukraine’s Energy Ministry and Coal Industry Igor Nasalyk, Ukrayinska Pravda said, citing law enforcement sources. According to media reports, Nasalyk is suspected of signing deals unprofitable for the state in favor of companies associated with Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash (oligarch often in the crosshairs of international justice) in the amount of 1.5 billion hryvnia ( about $41 million).

The Security Service of Ukraine exposed large-scale schemes for the embezzlement of 40 billion hryvnia by the former management of PJSC Ukrnafta and PJSC Ukrtatneft. According to the Ukrainian media, the illegal mechanisms were linked to tax evasion and money laundering. As part of the criminal case, 10 incidents of criminal activity are documented. In particular, it concerns the transfer of large consignments of petroleum products to subsidiaries, tax evasion, the creation of bad debts of the refinery and oil production plants, which have led to the depreciation and decrease in the value of their assets. According to the investigation, this criminal activity was carried out in the interests of the beneficial owners and beneficiaries of the companies.

As part of the investigative actions, the SBU, together with the Economic Security Bureau, conducted a series of searches. They were carried out at the place of residence of the actual owners and top management of the financial and industrial group, which includes these companies, as well as at the addresses of the probable deposit of petroleum products in different regions of Ukraine.

Based on the findings of the investigation of the top management of PJSC Ukrtatnafta, a number of crimes were revealed. The SBU conducted searches of several construction companies in Kiev allegedly associated with Medvedchuk and former deputy Kozak

Ukrainian MP Goncharenko claims that the head of the defense ministry, Reznikov, can leave his post and head the justice ministry. He too is in the sights of Justice but with many cards in hand that could reach the prime minister.

The United States sees no sign of Washington’s funds being misused in Ukraine due to the layoffs of Ukrainian officials, US Treasury Department spokeswoman Megan Upper told Reuters.

Ukraine withdrew from the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Russian Federation on air traffic and cooperation in the field of aviation, as well as from the agreement on the principles of cooperation in the production and supply of aviation equipment

In the meantime, Polish-Ukrainian dreams of delivering F-16s to the Ukrainian air force seem to be fading. First Deputy White House Press Secretary Olivia Dalton on Tuesday avoided answering a question about the possibility of supplying Ukraine with American F-16 fighters. Poland, According to the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Marcin Ociepa, after having supported the proposal, on January 31 he made it known that “it is not currently negotiating the transfer of F-16 fighter planes to Ukraine”. And again “the arming of Ukraine with F-16 fighters is too complicated an undertaking,” he told Polish television Ociepa.

“Today there is no such topic, if we are talking about operational actions and, above all, political decisions,” Ociepa said, noting that the Ukrainian authorities have “a long list of expectations, which they constantly coordinate with allies”.

Also in the media we learn that a US company offers to sell two MQ-9 Reaper drones to Ukraine for 1 dollar. According to the Wall Street Journal, a possible deal will have to be approved by the Biden administration. According to the newspaper, the proposal was made last week to the military attaché of Ukraine in Washington by the director general of the GA-ASI Linden Blue. The newspaper specifies that the preparation of the drones and their shipment to Ukraine will cost about 10 million dollars, and their annual maintenance will cost about 8 million dollars more. In case of agreement, the company will also supply a ground control station for drones.

Biden could meet Zelensky and Duda in Poland, write Polish media. According to them, the meeting could take place in Warsaw or Rzeszow. Zelensky should “present a peace plan and ask for an international conference on Ukraine”.

Terrorism alerts have been raised in the regions of the Russian Federation and they are currently on “yellow alert”. The provision of car inspection to detect weapons and explosives will be introduced; to make it known is a decree signed by Vladimir Putin. Yuri Averyanov, who previously served as First Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, has been appointed as an assistant to the president of United Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, the party said. He will also work in the parliamentary coordination group on NWO issues, formed by order of the president, as an adviser to the head of the group, Andrei Turchak.

The first images of the “Bird-bombs” arrive from the front, these are small drones modified by hand to drop bombs on the military adversary. Or much more often it is used to detect the enemy in time, and direct the artillery.

As a result of the MLRS shelling of the Holy Assumption Nikolo-Vasilyevsky Monastery in Nikolskoye, a priest was killed. The information was confirmed by the Volnovakha district administration.

At 09.00 on February 1st Artemovsk (Bachmut) is officially in an operational encirclement, Russian troops are closing the ring outside the city, Yan Gagin, assistant to the head of the DPR, told RIA Novosti.

In the city Russian assault groups are advancing into the city to the south, southeast and northeast. For the moment, the enemy is counting on a gradual retreat into the city to delay his surrender as much as possible. But in case of cutting the main road to Bachmut, the processes of withdrawal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Artemovsk will obviously accelerate, as happened in Soledar, after the attack aircraft of the PMC “Wagner” broke into the main road of replenishment of the Soledar grouping, which caused an imminent collapse of the enemy’s defense.

And now a look at the Vuhledar direction at 14.00 on February 1st, 2023. There were no significant changes in the Vuhledar region in the last day. Due to bad weather conditions, the active offensive was suspended, positional battles were going on. Ukrainian formations carry out remote mining of the suburbs and approach the city.

At the same time, units of the 72nd Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine suffered losses. Partially, the personnel were withdrawn to the Elizavetovka area. During the night of 31 January to 1 February, the towed guns were withdrawn from the vicinity of Vuhledar to new firing positions.

The commander of one of the battalions of the 72nd mechanized brigade is missing. According to the interception of negotiations between members of the Ukrainian formations, 200 bodies of people killed during the fighting in the Donetsk direction were handed over to Gaisin in the Vinnitsa region. There are no confirmations of the news from the Ukrainian side.

To strengthen the grouping, the forces of the 35th Ukrainian Navy detachment were deployed to Vuhledar, who took over the command of the defense. In addition, one of the units of the 80th airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces of Ukraine arrived from the Limansky sector.

In the near future it is planned to transfer the battalion-tactical group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Bogatyr, part of which is planned to be used to defend transport hubs.

In the vicinity of Trudovoye, an emplacement area was equipped for a battery of CAESAR 155-mm self-propelled guns for firing at Russian military personnel.

In places taken from the Ukrainians, the Russian military found plans for an offensive operation by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to eliminate the republics of Donbass. The exercise plan provided for a breakthrough of the front in the Debaltsevo direction and dissection of the front of the DPR and LPR, followed by the encirclement of the Donetsk agglomeration.

Graziella Giangiulio

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