Ukraine's Fight Against Smuggling Escalates

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.05 - 2024 1:54 PM CET

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Photo: Dmytro Larin / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Dmytro Larin / Shutterstock.com
In a move against corruption, President Zelenskyy enforces sanctions in a bid to clamp down on smuggling and illicit activities.

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In a major crackdown on corruption and external threats, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has enforced sanctions against 86 legal entities and seven individuals, including foreign nationals.

This action, grounded in the latest resolution from the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), targets a mix of domestic and international actors implicated in undermining the country’s sovereignty and economic stability.

Direct Action Against Corruption

President Zelenskyy's office announced the sanctions through a decree, published on the website of the head of state.

According to the decree, the sanctions span a wide array of entities across Ukraine and beyond, including "73 of the 86 legal entities...registered in government-controlled territory of Ukraine," with others situated in strategically sensitive areas such as Mariupol and Sevastopol, as well as in Russia and China.

These comprehensive sanctions, varying between three to ten years in duration, target individuals and entities accused of undermining Ukraine's sovereignty and economic stability. Among those sanctioned for three years is Vadym Alperin, Oleksandr Yerimitsuts, Yuriy Kushnir, Orest Adamcho, Viktor Sherman and Andriy Popov, described by authorities as being deeply involved in smuggling activities.

The decree states, "Vadym Alperin's assets were blocked for three years, he was prohibited from conducting any trade transactions, taking capital out of the country, participating in privatization, etc."

Araik Amirkhanyan faces a decade-long sanction for his alleged involvement in "raiding raids, organization of illegal crossings across the state border, money laundering with subsequent withdrawal to Russia and temporarily occupied Crimea."

Legal and Public Response

The imposition of sanctions follows a series of investigations and legal actions against individuals like Alperin, who has been a notable figure in Ukraine's battle against smuggling. Despite the closure of criminal proceedings against him in October 2023, the NSDC's decision reflects the ongoing concerns over his activities and their impact on Ukraine's economic health.

The sanctioned individuals, including businessman Yuriy Kushnir and Viktor Sherman, are accused of engaging in a range of illicit activities, from smuggling to bribery.

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