More and more important public positions are being filled by long-time acquaintances of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief-of-staff, Andriy Yermak. This phenomenon is detailed in a new investigation by Bihus.Info.
The nationalization of Ukrnafta and Yermak’s reaction to the question of appointing his deputy and former colleague to Ukranafta’s Supervisory Board
To preface the investigation, we remind readers that on November 6, Ukrnafta became completely state-owned and is now the property of the Ministry of Defense.
After the takeover of Ukrnafta’s shares, which the Ukrainian government has justified by military necessity, the composition of the enterprise’s supervisory board was changed. Out of the five members of the supervisory board, at least two are close to Yermak – namely lawyer Roza Tapanova and Yermak advisor Andrey Gota.
Tapanova was named to the supervisory board by the Ministry of Defense. However, she had worked as a lawyer not with the MoD, but in Yermak’s law firm, International Law Company LLC, which he created in the late 1990s. Before Yermak entered politics, Tapanova and Yermak had also created a joint-stock company of the same name.
Bihus.Info asked Tapanova how she was named to the Supervisory Board of Ukrnafta. She promised to “look into the issue” and contact them later, but has not provided an answer since.
Andriy Gota is an adviser to Andriy Yermak, and until February 2022 headed his cabinet.
Gota confirmed receiving questions from Bihus.Info, but said he was driving at the time, and would look more closely upon reaching his office. When told that the questions concerned Ukrnafta, Gota responded, “I was of no interest to anyone until now. And here you have Ukrnafta.” He did not provide answers to questions from Bilhus.Info reporters.
Bihus.Info invited Andriy Yermak to comment on these and other appointments. Yermak said that instead of responding to the offer of an interview addressed to him personally, he would publish the request from journalists and pass it on to the Head-quarters of the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He also declined to respond to the questions.
These questions were subsequently published on the Telegram channel of Yermak advisor Mikhail Podolyak.
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