On March 6, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Semen Kryvonos, who previously headed the State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning, as the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.
The NABU is a central body of executive power with a special status, which is entrusted with the prevention, detection, termination, investigation and disclosure of corruption and other criminal offenses assigned to its jurisdiction, as well as the prevention of new ones.
On April 16, 2015, the fifth President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed two Decrees: No. 217/2015 – on the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and No. 218/2015 – on the appointment of Artem Sytnyk as the Director of the Bureau.
At an extraordinary meeting on Monday, the government considered the appointment of the NABU director. The Cabinet of Ministers supported the recommendation of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
The director of the NABU is appointed for a term of 7 years. The mandate of the first head of NABU, Artem Sytnyk, ended in April 2022.
After the appointment, Kryvonos posted a video, expressing gratitude and promising to ‘remain open to civil society, professional organizations, journalists, and international partners’.
‘I will make maximum efforts to preserve the independence of the bureau and to develop this institution. Also, I will consider the highest efficiency indicator when every corrupt person in Ukraine, before even thinking about committing a corruption offense, will be afraid of three things: God, the people of Ukraine and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau’, he said.
It should be noted that the NABU director should have a higher legal education, work experience in the field of law of 10 years or more, experience in managerial positions of 5 years or more, know the state language, have high moral and business qualities and be able to perform duties according to the condition of health. In 2010, Kryvonos graduated from the National University of Bio-resources and Nature Management, majoring in ‘Legal Studies’.
The position of the NABU director is important not only for the anti-corruption system, but also for Ukraine as a whole. The director is responsible for the work of the Bureau, monitors the legality of operative investigative measures, pre-trial investigations, as well as the observance of the rights and freedoms of individuals, organizes work and appoints employees.
Kryvonos has always been an active user of social networks and expressed his own opinion about political processes in the country. The official also made public his vision regarding the fight against corruption.
Vitalii Shabunin, head of the Anti-Corruption Center, wrote on Facebook that Kryvonos was connected with the current deputy head of the President’s office Oleksii Kuleba. Halyna Polsynska, the wife of Semen Kryvonos, was the head of the department in Kyiv City State Administration when Kuleba headed it.
On January 24, Oleksii Kuleba was appointed deputy head of the President’s office.
Semen Kryvonos also has connections with Tymur Tkachenko, former business partner of Oleksii Kuleba in Asper Estate LLC (40884190). In the tax declaration for 2018, Tkachenko indicated that he used the apartment of Kryvonos’ wife in Kyiv. In 2019, Kryvonos did not indicate the owners of the car that was in his use, and the owner of the car was Tkachenko’s wife, Anna.
The head of the President’s office Andrii Yermak personally recommended Kuleba to work in the Kyiv City State Administration, as Kyiv mayor Vitalii Klitschko said. According to Bihus.info, Kuleba’s department was ‘the only one that was bypassed by police and State Bureau of Investigation searches during the confrontation between Vitalii Klitschko and the President’s office for control of the capital’.
The ‘Skhemy’ investigation stated that in 2016, Kryvonos won the competition for the director of the Odesa Territorial Department of the NABU. Then he refused to take office.
Journalists estimated the apartment he hid in Kyiv at 3 million hryvnias. With the salary of state officials, he and his wife managed to buy several plots of land and a private house. The couple owns or has the right to use free of charge 17 plots of land. He received the right to use one of the plots in September 2022.