Ukraine, a country, where the paramilitary culture is almost a mainstream, and militant groups of various levels of legality continuously shape the agenda, has surprisingly discovered the existence of a PMC (private military company) on its territory. And, without further ado, with the sleeves rolled up, the eradication work commenced. Of course, not all of the PMC’s were targeted for eradication, but only those, that were spied out by our intelligence services’ sharp, yet biased eye. Other armed extremists are untouched, and it’s very unlikely they will be subject to repressions. There is, par example, the Right Sector, the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps (UVC), which is a military structure, that are not under the chain of command of the Ministry of Defense. Nor they fall under the chain of command of the Ministry of Interior, neither of any governmental authorities. It’s an open fact, that the UVC militants are always present in the area of armed conflict, and what exactly they do there is anyone’s guess – they may either do the dirty work for the army and the police, or loot the warfare trophies on the battlefield to use them in the future strife, obviously. Or, much more likely, they do both. 

Despite the obvious illegality of the Right and the blunt statements of their leaders, the repressions against illegal military groups were never applied to this structure. The UVC militants keep their presence in regions of the line of contact, while their regional and metropolitan offices work under normal conditions. Nothing ever happened to the commanders of various squadrons, which had been formed back in 2014 on the absolutely illegal basis, and subsequently turned into ordinary criminal organizations involved in illegal amber digging, devastation of forests, asset-grabbing, and other kinds of grift in the name of patriotism. At the same time, the wheels of repressive historical process hit the pettiest and harmless battalion commander with a funny codename Semyon Semenchenko, as well as his ally Evgeny Shevchenko, known as the agent of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). 

SBU arrested Semenchenko and Shevchenko

While the Semenchenko character is more or less clear, – he was much publicized both as a hero and a crook, even labeled an agent of the Kremlin or, occasionally, of the breakaway regions, the name of Evgeny Shevchenko, previously the same crook type, yet less charismatic, did not sound familiar. However, the number of scandals he was plagued with is off the scale. And the cherry on top – it was Evgeny Shevchenko arrested by the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities for a record breaking 6 million USD bribe he attempted to give to the top officials of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office from managers of the Burisma gas producing company. THAT Burisma, where one of the board members was the son of Joe Biden, Hunter. 

Since the country should know its heroes, even if they fell from grace, the Liberal decided to investigate into the biography of our anti-corruption super-agent in order to conceive how it could possibly happen that a petty crook, inveterate liar, and a washout became a figure plagued with several scandals, that shook the whole nation, and even be implicitly involved with the matters of the most powerful world leader.

Anti-Corruption bodies. 

Anti-mob crusaders, or the external control tool

It is obvious, that for a country with a stable social and political system the appearance of such personas in the current news and not from the crime reporters seems unbelievable, yet, in Ukraine the appearance of that sort of puzzling and amorphous “anticorruption crusader agents” as Evgeny Shevchenko is a common thing. Moreover, the anti-corruption bodies, established after Maidan 2014 (a.k.a. “The Revolution Of Dignity”), the funding and operational costs of which exceed manifold the sums returned to the budget under their participation, their officers and agents are seen in Ukraine as a tool to promote the interests of the United States, the European Union, as well as of George Soros, the billionaire. 

And this is not just a propaganda results – the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (a special investigation authority with special mandate in the area of investigation of the corruption related crimes) from the moment of it was established receives the unreserved support from the relevant embassies and funds.

In particular, the appointment of Artem Sytnik as the NABU Director was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, that caused a sharp bark not only from the US Embassy, but also straight from Washington. 

The US support to Artem Sytnik has made him like Teflon. Even corruption allegations proved in the court and his inclusion into the official register of corruptionists was not enough for his resignation. And when, already under Zelensky rule, Deputy Head of the Office of the President had rashly labeled NABU as a “non-Ukrainian story”, the President had to personally assure the G7 ambassadors, that the NABU Head would retain his office despite the verdict of judicial authorities. In dry residue, like it or not, the Ukrainians see activity of the anti-corruption bodies as more of the external control tool with a principle of operation being: anything for members only, the others — obey the law. 

Commander of the CP vehicle and the super-agent 

Let’s get back to our hero, whose personality is an eloquent testimony of good reason behind the doubts widely spread in the Ukrainian society, as described above, especially in the context of his involvement in the NABU’s top headline-making cases. In view of this, on the background of the mentioned circumstances, the statement by Sytnik, NABU Director, made shortly after arrest of Shevchenko sounded ambiguously: he said Shevchenko was not the Bureau employee, but he didn’t rule out further cooperation with him. So, who is that yet another Casanova of our politics, who was lifted up the top of the wave of mass protests to support the immediate signing of the disputable, both economically and politically, agreement on association with the European Union? 

The road of Evgeny Shevchenko to the super agents started in the detached force of Semyon Semenchenko, his to-be accomplice. Biography of Semenchenko may well be compared if not to the Bretonian cyclus about Knights of the Round Table, then definitely to the Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach. Now, the Donbas battalion, formed by Semenchenko in the very beginning of the war, became a resort for those former protesters, who didn’t want to serve in the army and didn’t find themselves a place among the ideologically charged ultra-right organizations of the disciplined neo-Nazi acting under the auspices of the Ministry for Interior. In fact, the unideaed hooligans jumped on the mass protests and seeking greener pastures in the dynamically changing society, where the brutal force, impudence, and trigger-happy cockiness have become the virtues of man again.  

Predictably, the Donbas battalion appeared to be not the best effective combat unit, and their first engagements made it into history as the Ilovaisk Trap – the Ukrainian army was surrounded and suffered heavy losses. However, in spite of its short life, the Donbas battalion did leave a trace in the history, more specifically, in one of the U.N. Reports due to the multiple violations of human rights. This refers to kidnappings, tortures, and manslaughter, yet, neither Semyon Semenchenko, nor his appointed personal driver Shevchenko (the position was called “commander of the CP vehicle”) were harmed. By strange coincidence, on these days they were in Kiev. 

Later, Evgeny Shevchenko reemerged in the new line of business as a super-agent fighting corruption. An interesting twist of career for the former commander of a PC vehicle, however, his commander also had turned from a lowlife into the Member of Parliament. But the most surprising part was that Shevchenko personally announced the new occupation on his Facebook page! That was about formerly notorious NABU investigation into the activity of Dubnevitch, the ex-Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on transportation and Alperin, entrepreneur from Odessa, and the super-agent Shevchenko firstly showed up in the social networks, and then gave a boasting interview, going into unnecessary detail and giving account of the story of his life along sharing the bloomy future plans. A strange story indeed. The super-agents are insignificant-looking men, like Batman and Superman. 

And this whole cockiness is pretty strange – to boast of the skill of wriggling into favor, and then give up a person to the authorities, the one that you called your closest friend not a long time ago. It’s like introducing yourself as a rapist when getting with a lady. He also told not less impressive stories about how he covertly had purchased Kalashnikovs on the black market to provide participants of the 2014 protests with firearms.  

According to the factual allegations, weapons, spare parts and equipment were shady schemed purchased in Russia at an over-inflated price and then sold to the Ukrainian Army. The case caused a public stir, because this corruption scheme was allegedly implemented under the patronage of Oleg Gladkovsky, a person from the “inner circle” of Poroshenko. This scandal, erupted in 2019, had seriously affected then-presidential candidate in the lead-up to the election, and actually reduced his popularity to zero.  

But now, the principal episode in Evegeny Shevchenko’s carrier is the above-mentioned case on the $6 million bribe for the NABU management to whitewash the accused Nikolay Zlochevsky, owner of the Burisma company, entrepreneur and former Minister of Environmental Protection during the presidency of Yanukovich. The scandals following the Bidens have become an inseparable part of the political clashes within the U.S., and, it appears, that it was through Evgeny Shevchenko’s effort to make yet another move in the big game of politics, that runs far beyond the territory of Ukraine.

A substance, that would not drown, or a self-made man forced to survive in the cruel world

So, what are the powers, that guard our hero and bolster his confidence? Yes, he doesn’t look like a man obsessed with the long-run consequences of his deeds and words (for example, his boasting statements on how he was given an award firearm for the Zlochevsky case, which could also be a focus of litigation, since a weapon may be awarded only by the four governmental officials in Ukraine, and A. Sytnik is not on the list of these four. But even the carelessness should be kept in some reasonable borders. 

Something drove the experienced businessmen, who had survived the mob wars of the Nineties, to address him in seek for mediation in such a delicate job as bribery, whereas his cooperation with NABU had ceased to be a secret since the case of Dubnevitch and Alperin. According to Strana.ua, Shevchenko, while not being a NABU employee, was in the close business relationship with Artem Sytnik, the NABU Head, and acting as his confident, and, accordingly, ensured protection through the all-powerful G7 embassies in Ukraine.  

This renditions of events may well explain other oddities in the activity of the anticorruption bodies, in particular, the low effectiveness in investigating all of the scandalous cases.  We hesitate to make a flat assertion as to the fairness of such a conclusion, however, we can positively state, that only a man with a distinct way of thinking and having a very specific motivation may dare to fulfill such assignments without any officially authorized mandate.  

Looks like Evgeny Shevchenko considers himself a hero…a special kind of hero. In all appearances, definitely, neither an Achilles, nor a Hector, but, rather a disturbing mix of Frank Underwood from the House of Cards and Jordan Belfort from The Wolf of Wall Street, who are his role models, obviously.

However, one should not have confidence in Shevchenko’s words said about his past and current errands, while the recollections of his days of childhood and youth seem to be sincere. Having been born to a poor family, after divorce of his parents he had suffered a real misery. When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, he was 7 years of age. The conscious childhood got him at the very abyss of the crisis of the Nineties. In order to make a living for himself and his brothers, he had to clean cars in the street. 

What kind of thoughts might have emerged in his mind, when he, while rubbing the windshields, was peeking into the expensive cars with strongly built, short haired drivers and their beautiful female partners? If it was not only a sharp envy, then, it was the exact understanding, that if you want to succeed in your life, you have to remember: no pain, no gain. In one of his FB post he had recalled, how he sold to his classmates the hand-drawn tickets to the free-social events for kids in the local club. And it doesn’t really matter whether it was true, or not, but the pride in his deed and the loathing he spilled towards his “naive and lazy morons” were pretty sincere. 

When the school ended, our Evegeny either was incapable of, or just refused to get a higher education. In any case, your academic degree did not mean a thing at all, — “can’t make a scene, if you don’t have the green”. At that time, everyone knew, that the prizes of life were won only by those smart and brave, not by the pathetic dorks. Since his family was low on money, neither having any social relationships, he had to enlist in the army.

Moreover, Shevchenko has also been pressing on his social class and property status. He says, he can walk into the U.S. Embassy just for his own business, or for a cup of coffee, he aligns his agenda with FBI, while his horse was stabled next to a horse belonging to Viktor Pinchuk, the the Ukrainian oligarch. There is no escaping the impression that the correspondent is communicating with either a mad person, or a deranged kid, whose crazy gift is to compose the real life vibrant stories for his age-mates.

A swindler and a tax dodger

Surely, such a character drew attention of the less regime-loyal and hard-hitting journalists. In particular, Volodymyr Boiko has thrown the doors open to the dark side of our anticorruption James Bond, where Shevchenko was in the role of a fraudulent consumption tax evader, as well as a figure in the swindling cases. When a possibility of drawing upon a credit expired, due to the presence of an agent in the corresponding databases, he started to gain a confidence with individuals, charge money for some services, and disappear without fulfilling the promises. In all, the Shevchenko’s account raised the average of 37 thousand USD, collected in that manner. 

Shevchenko claims to have a vast business experience

Shevchenko’s statements on the so-called “successful business” turned out to be a fake, — his enterprises happened to be the fly-by-night aggregator companies, known to nobody, without proper reporting, without a distinct website, and with no record of operations. According to the official State Registers, Shevchenko is not in the possession of any real estate or property. 

These data look more plausible, than Shevchenko’s blab over his businesses. Thus, in the afore-mentioned interview, Shevchenko, while reviewing his pre-Maidan era achievements, mentioned the collaboration with Mark Ginsburg, the Odessa investor, when, in 2008 he had convinced to invest in a major hotel compound. In reality, that “hotel compound” appeared to be a cathouse budget hotel, called Dzhintama Breeze, that received much negative reviews due to the low-quality house-keeping, while Ginsburg, the investor, was banned on Wikipedia for an aggressive self-promotion, and labeled as a sleaze bag.

Maybe, our hero’s fate could’ve been more prosaic, says Vladymyr Boiko, and he, in the long run, could have been caught by the collectors, or a sheriff, but in 2014 the Maidan happened. And, although, in the midst of the violent protests, Shevchenko was able to go to Tanzania for a monthly retreat, where he, probably, had been purchasing Kalashnikovs to ensure his so endeared acquaintances in the “serious circles” here in Kiev. By the way, looks like it was him, who made a shot become popular with the anti-Ukrainian circles, where the Tanzanians, dressed in the national costumes, are holding the national flags of Ukraine and the U.E., which become a web meme. Since then the route of life of Evegeny’s has changed radically, however, it is not certain it was a change for a better. At least he’s now on the outside on bail awaiting accusations of being accomplice to Semen Semenchenko (arrested in the beginning of April). They are accused of organizing a illegally armed militia group

A Bellingcat friend, Poroshenko partner, and negotiator with Biden

Evgeny denies all the charges categorically. Saying, that the training base for the Semenchenko people, and where the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) confiscated the impressive warfare arsenal, was not visited by him, well, only once, well for old times’ sake. He blames his detainment on the revenge from Yermak, Head of the Office of the President, for his interview to Bellingcat, where he had accused the Head of the presidential office in the let-down downfall of the intelligence special op against the Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group. Surely it is impossible to deny, that there could be a governmental backlash on the deemed-to-be-reasons, especially, when it is allowed for Shevchenko to state and rationalize as he does.  

On the whole, this is not the first time, when our hero finds himself involved with internally and externally notorious affairs. Thus, his voice appeared on the recordings in the NABU investigations with regard to Gladkovsky-Svinarchuk case. In these recordings he discusses, with defendants of the case, the issues related to the arms delivery business. 

There, as Shevchenko said, he’d spent a half a year in vain. After which, he was, at long last, be able to go out and conquer this world. His experience in refurbishment, and as an outlet merchandiser, and as a chewing gum salesman have enlightened Evegeny to the thought, that, no matter how hard you try, all the riches will belong to your boss. There was a need for another way, and, therefore, he entered the so-called “business school”, where he was motivated into the “self-growth” and learned how to sell the “financial tools”. Having completed the training courses, he stayed at school as an employee. This period of life of our hero is vividly shown on his Facebook page bright with the life coaching stuff. After that, the epic story of loans began. We’ve described that above.

The Hollywood Wolf of Wall Street ends with a scene of the main character’s total flop.  The charismatic DiCaprio character, being a financial deadbeat Jordan Belfort makes a living hosting seminars on sales technique. A man, who possessed the glory, and palaces, and yachts, and the breathtaking prospects, is now teaching the New-Zeeland provincials the business elements to succeed. When he approaches the viewers to give him a pen, it becomes clear, that it would be more effective (yet, less honest) to teach the kiwi bird fly. A thoroughly fair pay-off for the absence of moral principles, and this is a good ending of the movie. However, in today’s Ukraine a success craving follower of the like seminars may become a famous person.

Perhaps, the main tragedy of Evgeny’s life is not in the fact that he was born 15 years too late. The sloth has never been his sin, and, if he had a chance to get an education, acquire an administrative experience in Komsomol, and jump into the beginning of the great divide of the property, he could have gotten into that circle, which is called the elite in the post-soviet states. However, now in Ukraine it is a great time for the exciting adventures. Once you hear of some new amazing story, make sure the names in it do or do not ring a bell for you.

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