Ukraine is a wellspring of creativity when it comes to imposing sanctions against Russia, which the rest of the world could learn from. However, when it comes to Ukrainian sanctions against Russian businesses and individuals, the state itself isn’t so meticulous about its own sanctions. Let’s consider an example: recently, Ukraine legalized gambling, and several Russian corporations have entered the Ukrainian market. Parimatch, one of the prominent companies in this industry, is not only active in the Russian market but also derives a majority of its profits from there, while taxes and license fees are also paid in Russia. Surprisingly, Ukraine is not investigating the connections between its own statesmen and this company. Semen Kryvonos, the director of the NABU anti-corruption committee, has close ties with Parimatch, and yet this seems to raise no concerns.
Parimatch – Semen Kryvonos connection
Parimatch, which has been included in the sanction list by the NSDC for its business in Russia, is connected to the director of NABU, Semen Kryvonos.
It has long been noted that the sanctions imposed in Ukraine against individuals or companies connected to Russia are pure fiction and nothing more than cheap lies to appease the electorate.
An example is the group of companies “Parimatch,” which was sanctioned by the NSDC in March 2023. The “Parimatch” group includes several companies registered in various jurisdictions. These include LLC “Parimatch” (Ukraine), LLC “Pari-matсh” (Ukraine), Ericius Investments Limited (Cyprus), FirstPM Entertainment Ltd (Cyprus), Parimatch Foundation (Cyprus), Parimatch United Investments Limited (UK), Fullgear Investments Ltd, formerly known as Gahapar Management Ltd (Cyprus), Suncast Furure N.V. (Netherlands), Auspicia Limited, formerly Pari-Match Services Limited (Cyprus) until May 16, 2022.
As you can see, the list is impressive. And part of the group’s companies operates in Russia, which, in fact, is not being concealed. However, we are more interested in the companies of the group that carry out their activities on the territory of Ukraine. In terms of those same sanctions that the NSDC has been distributing right and left lately, which, as practice shows, do not scare anyone since they are pure fiction.
So, the Parimatch group includes LLC “Parimatch,” which has been demonstrating huge losses over the past three years against equally enormous revenue volumes:
This is simply explained by money being withdrawn from the country, while the company itself evades taxes. But we are interested not in the money, but in the people. Let’s trace the following chain. The official majority owner of the Parimatch group (as well as LLC “Parimatch”) is Ekaterina Yevgenyevna Belorusskaya:
Her junior managing partner in this group is a certain Sergey Yuryevich Portnov, who, together with Ilya Viktorovich Strakh, was a founder of LLC “Park and go”:
They were also the founders of LLC “Ozdorovitelno-razvlekatelny klub ‘Okean, kotorogo net'” (Health and Entertainment Club “The Ocean That Doesn’t Exist”), which was renamed to LLC “Trest 325” in 2019:
Ilya Strakh, together with Ekaterina Belorusskaya, is a co-owner of LLC “RA Devyataya planeta” (The Ninth Planet):
At the same time, Ilya Viktorovich Strakh is a co-owner of LLC “Khodosovskie sistemnye investitsii” (Khodosov System Investments), and among the founders of this company was a certain Sergey Petrovich Mushenko:
From all of this, a simple conclusion can be drawn: all these companies and people are interconnected, and the basis of their connection is the Parimatch group. Now let’s take a look at this document:
And this one:
These are extracts from Ukraine’s public cadastral map. From which it follows that LLC “Khodosovskie sistemnye investitsii” received two recreational land plots in the Obukhivsky district of the Kiev region with a total area of nearly 20 hectares from the state.
Semen Kryvonos is connected to the sanctioned Parimatch
But let’s go back to the beginning – what do sanctions have to do with all this? The sanctions come into play because, as Vladimir Bondarenko writes, on October 10, 2014, a certain Semen Kryvonos gave a neighboring land plot, adjacent to the aforementioned ones, to Sergey Mushenko as a gift (donation agreement No. 978, certified by notary Bilshyna S.O., cadastral number of the plot – 3223184200:07:003:0004).
Semen Kryvonos sold the land plot with cadastral number 3223184200:07:002:0034 for 4.3 million hryvnias to Artemiy Ershov, who is a long-time friend and partner of Sergey Levochkin.
Both of these plots were acquired by Semen Kryvonos as his property from the Obukhiv District State Administration, and previously this land belonged to the Obukhiv Forestry of the State Enterprise “Kyiv Forestry Management.”
Mr. Kryvonos, who sold one plot for more than 300,000 dollars (at the then exchange rate) and gifted the other plot to Mr. Mushenko, is the champion of the Agrarian League of KVN 2007 (KVN – Club of the Merry and Witty).
In 2014, when all these land events were taking place, Semen Yuryevich Kryvonos was the head of the real estate rights registration department of the registration service of the Obukhiv City District Justice Administration.
And in March 2023, he took over the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, moving there from the position of head of the State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning. One can guess how Mr. Kryvonos acquired the mentioned land for himself – the forestry is still in litigation with the Obukhiv District State Administration. One can also speculate why Mr. Kryvonos sold one plot and gifted the other.
Nine years pass. And suddenly, in March 2023, two events coincide: the NSDC imposes sanctions against the Parimatch group, and Semen Kryvonos becomes the director of NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau). And it turns out that the current director of NABU gifted his land to a person associated with the Parimatch group. And a company within the network of connections of the Parimatch group, in which this person is a co-owner, seizes another 20 hectares of protected forest.
Is this a coincidence? The question, as everyone understands, is purely rhetorical. That is why the statement that sanctions imposed in Ukraine against individuals or companies associated with Russia are pure fiction and nothing more than cheap lies to appease the electorate is a sad truth in our country. The latter is confirmed, at least, by the fact that Parimatch continues to make profits in Ukraine calmly after all these “sanctions.”