Hundreds of millions of hryvnias meant for the reconstruction of the Kyiv region, which suffered the horrors of Russia’s full-scale invasion early last year, have been allocated to dubious contractors, Bihus.info, an independent investigative journalism project, reports.
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The report suggests the reconstruction of the Kyiv region turned into chaos as contracts with contractors were signed directly without tenders, and the contracts themselves were often not made public.
The most striking examples include the reconstruction of Vokzalna Street in the town of Bucha, famous for a large column of Russian military equipment destroyed there early on in the full-scale war.
A large contract worth UAH 200 million (USD 5,4 million) for the repair of the street was awarded, without tenders, to the family of businessman Serhiy Tsybulskyi from the Rivne region.
Mr Tsybulskyi said after the liberation of Bucha, his family brought bread to the town, met local officials, and offered to work in the reconstruction.
He could not name the exact number of objects that Bucha entrusted them with restoring, and explained the absence of some contracts in the Prozorro system by the fact that they had agreed with officials verbally.
"There is an article in the Civil Code that allows us to enter into verbal contracts," the businessman told journalists.
Other examples of dubious deals related to the reconstruction of the Kyiv region include:
- A company with a mistake in its legal name, which was given UAH 40 million (USD 1.08 million)
- A company linked to the entourage of Oleksii Kuleba, former head of the Kyiv regional military administration and current deputy head of the Presidential office, which received UAH 250 million (USD 6.74 million)
- A company that might be part of a public procurement scheme, UAH 40 million
- A company involved in criminal proceedings and owned by the son of the former vice mayor of Sevastopol, who sided with the Russian occupiers in 2014, UAH 240 million (USD 6.47 million)
- A company linked to developer Andrii Vavrysh that might have scuppered the repair of the roof of a multi-storey building in the town of Borodyanka
The heads of some town and village councils refused to talk to Bihus.info journalists about the reconstruction at all.
In Bucha, they explained the chaos with orders and documentation as a result of the full-scale war and haste.
Oleksii Kuleba, in turn, told journalists that law enforcement should deal with the criminal trails of contractors.
He assured the regional administration he led was not aware of the involvement of the dubious companies; contractors were chosen from among local businessmen; and he personally had no negotiations or agreements with anyone.
According to a recent survey commissioned by Transparency International Ukraine, 73 percent of Ukrainians and 80 percent of business representatives believe corruption is the main risk to Ukraine’s reconstruction.