SSU identifies traitors who helped russia steal over 650,000 tons of Ukrainian grain from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions (video)

The SSU has documented the unlawful activity of persons involved in the illegal export of 650,000 tons of Ukrainian grain worth over USD 200 mln from the temporarily occupied territories of southern Ukraine.

The SSU indentified the entire chain: starting from the traitors who signed the permits to export the grain and ending with all crew members of 10 russian ships that transported the loot.

In the course of the investigation, the SSU has notified the following persons of suspicion:

  • Yevgeniy Balytskyi, head of russian occupation administration in the captured part of Zaporizhzhia region;
  • Oleksandr Saulenko, self-proclaimed acting mayor of Berdyansk;
  • Volodymyr Stelmachenko, ‘director’ of Berdyansk Sea Port.

They are suspected of crimes under three articles of the CCU:

  • Article 111-1.8 (collaboration);
  • Article 111-2 (aiding the aggressor state);
  • Article 28.2, Article 438.1 (violation of laws and customs of war).

In addition, court has seized the property (including 4 small aircraft in Kyiv region) and corporate rights belonging to Balytskyi and his family worth over UAH 149 million (USD 3,7 mln).

The SSU has also identified other participants in this illegal scheme, who will be declared suspects.

The SSU established that the collaborator Balytskyi issued an ‘order’ based on which a temporary administration was introduced in the occupied territories. As a result, the property of 7 agro-industrial complexes and grain terminals in Zaporizhzhia region was illegally transferred to the pseudo-enterprise State Grain Operator.

The pseudo-mayor Saulenko, together with the ‘director’ of Berdyansk Sea Trade Port, Stelmachenko, ensured the removal of grain from warehouses and loading it onto the Zhibek Zholy vessel under the russian flag.

The SSU also documented transportation by ships of Ukrainian grain stolen from the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions through sea ports and terminals located in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

The sea vessels under russian and syrian flags involved in this illegal activity are: Nadezhda, Sormovsky-48, Fyodor, Matros Koshka, Matros Pozynych, Zhibek Zholy, St. Konstantin, Mikhail Nenashev, LAODICEA.

However, thanks to the SSU’s prompt response, it was possible to prevent the illegal shipment of stolen wheat - Ukrainian court seized the specified vessels and grain products transported by them.

Besides, Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon refuse to accept and unload cargo from these ships.

The SSU has identified 5 more foreign sea vessels that illegally export grain from the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, which are going to be seized by court.

In cooperation with the law enforcement of the USA, Turkey, Lebanon and other countries, a joint investigation is underway to establish all the circumstances of the crime and arrest sea vessels transporting stolen Ukrainian grain at destination ports.

The investigation is carried out by a group of investigators from the SSU Main Investigative Directorate, the Investigative Directorate of the SSU Office in Kyiv and Kyiv region and officers of the SSU Main Directorate for Counterintelligence Support of Critical Infrastructure and Combating Terrorism Financing under the procedural supervision of the Prosecutor General’s Office in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The SSU will continue to act to neutralize threats to food security of our state.