The new head of the Zakarpattia Regional Prosecutor’s Office was appointed on January 4. Before that, after the dismissal of the previous prosecutor Viktor Govorukha, this department of the extreme western region of Ukraine on the border of four European Union countries was without a leader for more than two months. They were looking for a suitable one.
As a result, regional headed the prosecutor’s office 51-year-old Anatoly Kovalchuk, who previously worked for the prosecutor’s office for more than 20 years with a short break.
Until 2005, Kovalchuk worked in the prosecutor’s offices of Vinnytsia and Chernivtsi regions. The same 2005 was appointed first deputy prosecutor of Poltava.
In 2014, as a deputy prosecutor of the Poltava region, he saved the odious People’s Deputy fugitive from OP-ZZ Ilya Kivu from justice, withdrawing the appeal his colleagues for a revised sentence for receiving a bribe in 2011, when the fan of “Russian Peace” worked as the deputy head of the Office for the Protection of Consumer Affairs in the Poltava region. In 2019, when asked by journalists why he withdrew the appeal, Kovalchuk said that he received the following instruction: “I was called by the manager and told to withdraw the appeal because there are some violations… The manager made the decision.”
He gained the experience of the head of the regional prosecutor’s office in 2015-16, heading the prosecutor’s office of the Rivne region. In 2016, a month before the dismissal, awarded the order “For courage and professionalism” of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine – award of the All-Ukrainian public organization “Union of veterans and employees of the security forces of Ukraine “ZVYTYAGA”.
Anatoly Kovalchuk’s declarations, available in the You control analytical system, show that the prosecutor probably did not work in the authorities from 2016 to 2021 and applied for a position in the Zhytomyr Regional Prosecutor’s Office in 2020.
From June 2021, Kovalchuk worked in the Office of the Prosecutor General, where he headed the second department of the organization of procedural management of pre-trial investigation and maintenance of public accusations in the regional prosecutor’s offices of the Department of Supervision of Compliance with Laws of the National Prosecutor’s Office and bodies that fight against organized crime of the Office of the Prosecutor General. At the same time, he was a member of the interdepartmental working group that analyzed the state of pre-trial investigation and procedural management in courts regarding criminal offenses committed against journalists.
By the way, at the “round table” in the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine in October 2021 Kovalchuk reported, that only 8% of criminal proceedings for crimes against journalists go to court. Most often, law enforcement officers close proceedings against journalists in Kyiv, ZakarpattiaLviv, Donetsk, Chernihiv, Poltava and Kherson regions.
In the amber wars
In 2016, as the head of the prosecutor’s office of the Rivne region, the current chief prosecutor of Transcarpathia got into the epicenter of the amber scandal. Before the special operation “Burshtyn” he suspended from work, and after its successful completion, the prosecutor was given to write an application for dismissal. Then the press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office noted that release of Kovalchuk connected with the abuses of his subordinates and because of the connections of the Rivne prosecutor’s office with the amber mafia.
As part of the special operation, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the SBU conducted over a hundred searches, including the heads of the prosecutor’s office and district police departments. At the same time, there was no mention of the head of the prosecutor’s office’s ties to organized crime. During the year of Kovalchuk’s work, the department regularly reported on seized pumps and amber. However, after the work of the Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement officers, it became clear that the reports did not correspond to the real scale of mining and extraction of “sunstones”. Investigated the facts military prosecutor’s office.
Rivne journalists reported that after his release, the prosecutor intended to start a business. “I will go into agriculture”, – journalists quote the prosecutor.
From the prosecutor’s office to the farm and back
Anatoly Kovalchuk really officially applied to agriculture. However, not immediately and not for a long time.
In 2020, he registered a sole proprietorship with the main type of activity “production of oil and animal fats”, but within a year he closed down his business activities.
At the same time, he registered the “SADKIVSKE” farm in the Shargorod district of the Vinnytsia region, which is engaged in the cultivation of grain, leguminous crops and oil crops. And in May 2021, before his return to the prosecutor’s office, he re-registered the company to his wife – Oksana Kovalchuk.
According to data from You control, as of 2022, Kovalchuk owned one real estate, five plots of land with a total area of more than 6 hectares, and a 2017 Lexus RX 350. His wife has two real estate properties in the Vinnytsia and Poltava regions, five plots of land and a 2015 BMW X3 car. Also, in the declaration of 2016, submitted by the prosecutor after the dismissal, a sports and health complex, an exhibition and trade hall with office premises with an area of almost 900 square meters and a cafe premises with an area of 173 square meters are indicated.
In comments to journalists in 2016, Anatoliy Kovalchuk explained his family’s wealth by the wealth of his parents and his wife’s parents, whose business is concentrated in agriculture. In particular, the father of the prosecutor owns the agricultural company “Zherelo” with a land fund of more than four hundred plots of land with an area of up to 3.8 hectares (himself the prosecutor stated about an area of 1,300 hectares – ed.). Also, according to You control, the company owns 18 cars, including the 2021 Renault Duster SUV. and Toyota Land Cruiser 200 2020
On January 4, 2023, during his presentation as the head of the Transcarpathian Regional Prosecutor’s Office, Anatoly Kovalchuk outlined among his main tasks the fight against crimes against the foundations of national security, manifestations of collaborationism, offenses in the land, budget and environmental spheres, as well as the phenomena of corruption. contraband
There is a lot of such work in Transcarpathia today. Cases due to illegal construction in Uzhgorod have been lost in the courts for years, while cases of corruption in the districts are in the offices of district investigative departments; objects of the Emerald network, the Borzhava and Svidovets ridges, and the Carpathian mountain rivers are under the threat of development; exploration work for a potential gas field was illegally started on the Vododilny ridge; and to the escape of politicians and businessmen, as well as their transportation of large sums of cash without declaration across the borders in Transcarpathia at the beginning of a large-scale war, both the border services and the closest relatives of local people’s deputies were involved.
Author: Olena Mudra