The Declaration of war on the oligarchs

Holodnitsky and Sytnik — people hard. Still young, but strong and harsh, and both were once prosecutors in Ukraine. The one who was a Prosecutor in Ukraine, should be able to act — hard, fast, like the oligarchs, who so long commanded here. Previously, they have made it clear to young prosecutors where to strike and where not. One or two passed then under the table from one to the other castles of the oligarchs and prosecutors have become a national legend, when the revolution of Euromaidan 2014 was stormed the estates of the clans, surrounded by high walls.


The Maidan wanted to end this corruption, but not everything went as smoothly as planned: attacked Russia, the country was on the brink, and to stop the devil, the revolution was forced to cooperate with Satan. However, because there is nothing that an oligarch in a pinch would not be able to Fund, some also funded the fight against Russia, and thus forces who carried out the coup, had to endure, when one of the old caste of gentlemen got the reins — Petro Poroshenko, a multimillionaire, was elected President of the war in 2014 in the climax of the invasion. Since Ukraine is a hybrid state. In the fight against the clans achieved a lot, but still no good. The country will no longer be called a purely oligarchic, but it is not a transparent democracy. Perhaps it is democharge.


But Holodnitsky and Sytnik, the young provincial prosecutors, strengthened and tempered in the struggle against all sorts of petty gangsters of this vast country, took up the crowbar. Western sponsors and allies of Ukraine, the international monetary Fund, the EU, the United States required to drain an old swamp. They ordered Poroshenko to establish effective bodies with independent leadership to fight against corruption, and at least in two cases this, apparently, was a success: Artem Sytnik, 37-year-old chef created in 2015, the National anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and Nazar Golodnitsky, only 32-year-old head of the Specialized anti-corruption Prosecutor’s office. Both were winners of public tenders under international control, both for the second year in the service, both praise all who are in the know: Western experts in Kiev, Transparency International, democratic opposition. However, for a long time there was one important “but”. Sytnik and Holodnitsky sent out their investigators to do with the mountain of cases worked each night until they began to stick together the eyes. But what they long lacked, is a “big fish” — the first really important accused. They had to catch this one, be it the head of Department and maybe the Minister, to prove to an increasingly concerned public that they are not just paper tigers.


This “but” no longer exists. Recently Sytnik and Holodnitsky the network has got not just the big fish, but perhaps the greatest number of species inhabiting the pond institutional oligarchy. March 2, NABOO was arrested no less Roman Nasirov, head of the State fiscal service. Since that time, both dealing with the system — and with President Poroshenko. The question of power supplied, the troops catch up: on one side of the network democharge with its authorities, money, President millionaire, on the other hand, two lone Prosecutor, civil society and the West abroad.


Arrest Nasirova was a Declaration of war. The state fiscal service has for decades been the most terrible weapon and at the same time the most generous cornucopia of the oligarchy. He who has controlled this Department with its thousands of armed financial police, could for several hours to close any company, to disconnect its computers to stop production. But just as national chief of the Finance Department can close the eyes to tax evasion, and for very good friends, he could access an endless supply of money in the form of a fictitious “compensation”. Therefore, since this position was considered as the main jewel in the crown of the oligarchy. Since then, in 1991 Ukraine became independent, the head of the Finance Department was under the personal protection of the Prime Minister or the President. He was untouchable. No Prosecutor would never have dared aim so high.

Now Holodnitsky Sytnik and arrested the man. According to the indictment, he provided one businessman unlawful reprieve from paying taxes and thereby caused state losses of 68 million euros. In advance of the face, learned from it, fled abroad and argues from there that the proceeds went to “projects” of President Poroshenko. His office called it Russian propaganda, and the defenders Nasirov claimed that their client was innocent, how Holy ground of Calvary, and his accusers like a crowd screaming “crucify him.”

Who are these people who dare to engage in such a struggle? Artem Sytnik and Nazar Golodnitsky grew up in completely different circles, but one decisive point of their paths crossed. Younger Holodnitsky comes from traditionally-Patriotic environment of the West regional of the city. Western Ukraine has always been set “antimonous”, so that resistance permeates the entire Soviet Holodnitsky family history: his grandfather during the Second world war collaborated with the anti-Soviet partisans, his father was deported, he was secretly baptized under communism, and, of course, participated in both the anti-revolution in Kiev, cheerful “orange” in 2004 and bloody in 2014.


Sytnik, the older one, on the contrary, originally from Central Ukraine, from Kirovograd region, which, according to him, “patriotism is quieter” in his family saying, of course, Ukrainian, but, as is often the case, many Ukrainians from the Central and Eastern parts of the country, sometimes in Russian. About the anti-Soviet struggle of generations of Western Ukrainians, these citizens never knew, but Sytnik very early on he was faced with “the system”: he resigned from his service in the Prosecutor’s office in 2011, under President-pathological thief Viktor Yanukovych who was overthrown by the revolution of 2014. Prior to that, he was trying to condemn one official, who, in his opinion, took bribes. However, someone stood up for this man: he was on “the untouchables”.


Their paths crossed on the Maidan. Both were witnesses to the bloody days of the final tragedy, when dozens of demonstrators and police killed each other, when every day more dead were lying on the sidewalk, when were burned the headquarters of the revolution in the House of trade unions, and the hotel “Ukraine” became first a hospital and then a morgue. Sytnik, who, after his dismissal became a lawyer, protested along with tens of thousands of Ukrainians on Kiev’s independence Square, and Holodnitsky just received a job at the Kiev Prosecutor’s office, became an assistant to opposition MP. He talks in a strictly private residence of the specialized prosecutors (at the right hand of the TV screen and at the left is divided into four parts monitor surveillance cameras) about how he then left the service to pull the dead and injured, “Ukraine”, and then with a temporary pass to the revolutionary headquarters in the left pocket and with the identity of the Prosecutor’s office in the right was quickly removed blood smeared coat back to its Bureau. Perhaps, he “never got into such a mess”, how then with these two conflicting identities, he says today. It could expose any of his own colleagues in the Prosecutor’s office or the fighters from the Maidan, with blood and death brought to a “pogrom sentiment.” It’s just luck that it came out alive and unharmed.


So, now the network is caught big fish, and again they are caught between a rock and a hard place. Arrested March 2, Nasirov, head of the State fiscal service were released on bail, but the investigation is ongoing. The accused is an almost perfect portrait of the Ukrainian high official of the old school: the Declaration on the income, which representatives of the Ukrainian authorities are obliged to publish in 2016, he pointed (with his wife) not only five apartments and three houses, but that has always been considered the “Smoking colt” corruption — a huge amount of cash, almost 1.7 million Euro, American, Ukrainian and European banknotes. It is even more than nearly a million, which is indicated as cash state President Poroshenko. Unbelievable that this man needs to confess. It would be the biggest disaster of the oligarchs.


Now both hunter corrupt officials sitting in offices strictly protected under the security service monitors and fighting for their prey. While the score is equal. They are openly supported by the delegation of the European Union and the Embassy of the United States, Germany and the UK. The democratic opposition, until the implacable critics of corruption, such as the MPs, Mustafa Nayyem and Oksana Rawfoodist, praises them. The Chairman of the Board of Transparency International Ukraine Andriy Marusov not cease to commend them. Street mobilized. If Nasirov, “big fish”, will appear before the court if it comes to the amount of his bail. And if he is, unshaven, rumpled, in an orange shirt, will first produce before the court the impression of a man who’s about to overtake heart attack and then again, and happily chat with their lawyers, without going to the demonstrators, to see how the judge hadn’t removed the fish from the hook after a secret “call from above”.

Demonstration, the pressure of the street and the huge expectations that are awakened now is the hammer: Sytnik and Holodnitsky know that they can survive only as long as they are supported by “street,” an angry civilian movement postmedia, and must therefore represent the result. Anvil — a counter-pressure of the oligarchic system. Sytnik and Holodnitsky said in an interview with this newspaper about how the camera puts the spoke in the wheel. In the interests of the investigation they had to beg for the results of the telephone wiretaps, because the secret service has a legal monopoly. “Normal”, the General Prosecutor’s office, which is also a tool of the President, robs them of the case, and the presidential majority in the Parliament, despite the protests of the Americans and the Europeans, wants to plant inspection, the only task of which is to paralyze the activity of the new Department of NABOO. Once it came even to what is “normal” the Prosecutor’s office ordered the arrest of investigators NABOO.


The pressure of the street on the one hand, the system pressure with the other, and between them, two single men both strong, determined, but also tired and tense to the extreme. Sytnik constantly rubbed his eyes, when he spoke, he looked nervous, tense, too focused. The Holodnitsky face was red spots. “It is not easy to be the first anti-corruption Prosecutor in one of the most corrupt countries in Europe”, — he said goodbye.