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Petro Poroshenko’s affairs with the Transnistrian “Sheriff” //RISE Moldova

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko and Moldova's PM Pavel Filip at the opening of the first joint border checkpoint, Source: gov.md

While condemning the separatist regimes in Donetsk and Lugansk, and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and his firm “Roshen” does not bother doing business with the Transnistrian corporation “Sheriff”. At least, this is what an investigation of Rise Moldova shows about Roshen’s imports to Moldova’s breakaway region.

Only until recently, the control of the Transnistrian segment of the Moldo-Ukrainian border was controlled by the Ukrainian border police, customs and the so-called “Transnistrian customs office”. Only in July 2017, the Kuchurgan-Pervomaisk checkpoint was opened with the attendance of Petro Poroshenko and PM Pavel Filip. At the ceremony, Poroshenko declared that he supports the joint control “for the assurance of transparency and efficiency in the fight against smuggling and corruption”.

At the same time, Poroshenko’s chocolate company “Roshen” exported to Transnistria in July 2017 goods worth 1,5 million hrivnas (over 55 thousand USD).

Data from Ukraine’s customs registry, Transactions from July 2017 between Roshen and Sheriff. Source: Rise.md

Roshen’s Transnistrian partner happens to be “Sheriff” from Tiraspol, founded in 1993 by Victor Gushan and Ilya Kazmaly, two most influential oligarchs in the separatist republic. Rise Moldova found out that from 2014 until the middle of 2017, Roshen sold goods to Sheriff with a total value of some 3 million USD. At the same time, the official distributor of Roshen in Moldova, Tezaurus-VDS SRL, stated that it does not have any commercial relations with Sheriff or other companies from the region.

Some other 300 Ukrainian companies traded with Sheriff products worth more than 100 million US dollars. Official Ukrainian distributors of big corporations like Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine Ltd or Nestle Ukraine Ltd are also involved in commercial activities with Sheriff from Tiraspol.

Rise Moldova could not find out how Sheriff pays its Ukrainian partners, nor could they find relevant information about Sheriff’s total imports from the Moldovan and Ukrainian customs office.

With an income bigger than the budget of the so-called “Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic”, Sheriff is commonly perceived as a primary source of power in the separatist republic, tolerated or even encouraged by Moscow.

Important

A military helicopter has collapsed in the Transnistrian region

An MI-8 helicopter of the so-called Transdniestrian Air Force has suffered an accident on the territory of the Tiraspol airfield. The accident occurred on September 20, and three people were on board. The helicopter is totally destroyed, and nothing about the fate of passengers is known, says Runway08, a blog about aviation.

On the other hand, in a press release published on the site of the so-called Defense Ministry of the separatist republic, the incident is confirmed, but it is said that the helicopter suffered little mechanical damage, and those on board ended up with light injuries.

According to the separatist authorities, in order to determine the circumstances in which this accident has occurred, an investigation was initiated.

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Reintegration

Russia urged by ECHR to pay 53.000 EUR for the mother of a young man killed in a paramilitary unit in Transnistria

On September 18, the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling finding that the Russian Federation had violated art. 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to life after a young man was forcedly assassinated and killed in an illegal paramilitary unit in the Transnistrian region.

Young people who refuse to serve the illegal regime of the so-called “Transnistrian Army” are hunted down and persecuted by the administration of the region, and the Moldovan authorities are indifferent to this problem, which has been repeated for more than 25 years.

According to a Promo-LEX Report, young people who avoid enlisting in the so-called “Transnistrian army” are fined up to 1,700 EUR or get up to 2 years in prison. In the history of Moldova, there is no sentence of condemnation for the forced enlistment of young people in the Transnistrian region.

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Photograph: Anton Polyakov

NB: The armed forces in the Transnistrian region have about 5.000 people (the national army of Moldova has a staff of about 6.000 people), distributed in 4 infantry brigades (Ribnita, Dubasari, Tiraspol and Bender); a special brigade; Battalion of tanks, equipped with 20 fighting machines; 18 missile launch systems of the “Grad” type and less than a 100 pieces of artillery.

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Reintegration

500 military students, including minors, trained by Transnistrian soldiers in the Security Zone

During the hearing of the Moldovan Joint Control Commission (September 13) on the Situation in the Security Zone, the Moldovan delegation called for explanations regarding the military actions organized on 7-9 September by the military structures of Tiraspol near the Mereneşti locality, in the southern sector of the Security Zone.

About 500 military students, including minors: Cadets and Suvorovists who, under the guidance of the Transnistrian soldiers, attended a training course with the use of military equipment. Such incidents occurred simultaneously at the bridges over the river Nistru Gura Bâcului – Baciuc and Rezina – Ribnita.

These are some of the many waves of abuse committed by Tiraspol, that violate the right to free movement in the Security Zone and prove the importance of ensuring security and free movement in the Security Zone by the peacekeeping contingent jointly with Police and the so-called Russian “militia”.

Discussions on the subject will be continued at the next JCC meeting scheduled for 20 September 2018.

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