Ukrainian intelligence have seized luxury cars, guns and antiques belonging to a Putin ally that are worth millions.
Images obtained from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Thursday, 24th November, show some of the artefacts that have been seized and that reportedly belonged to the president of the industrial giant Motor Sich.
Ukrainian intelligence services said that the items belonged to Vyacheslav Boguslaev, president of the aircraft engine manufacturing company Motor Sich and a Putin ally in Ukraine.
He is said to have illegally supplied Ukrainian aircraft engines to Russia.
The SBU said in a statement today (24th November): “The security service searched the assets of the president of JSC ‘Motor Sich’ worth hundreds of millions of hryvnias. They tried to secretly take this property out of Ukraine in order to avoid its arrest as part of criminal proceedings.
“Among the confiscated items are rare cars and firearms, as well as Scythian gold and objects from ancient times and Kyivan Rus.
“As a result of investigative and operative actions, the participants of the arrangement were identified. They turned out to be several managers of the plant’s structural divisions.
“It was they who tried to hide the property of their leader on the territory of controlled commercial structures. In the future, officials planned to illegally take ‘assets’ out of our country.
“However, counterintelligence officers and investigators of the SBU worked ahead of time, promptly established the location of these hiding places and their organizers.
“During the searches, law enforcement officers discovered and seized: 7 luxury cars, including 4 rare ones; a cutter [boat]; 3 hunting rifles and a rifle; a large number of antiquities from European nations.
“All property has been sent for examination. Measures are being taken to arrest him.
“In addition, the SBU exposed other representatives of the immediate circle of the ‘Iskander-M lover’ who encouraged the plant’s employees to collect signatures under a ‘collective appeal’ to ease the measure of the preventive measure for their manager.
“For this, psychological pressure was applied to people, threatening them with dismissal and further ‘consequences’.
“We will remind that counter-intelligence and SBU investigators detained the president of Motor Sich JSC and the head of one of the company’s departments in October of this year.
“According to the investigation, the management of the plant in Zaporizhzhia established transnational channels for the illegal supply of wholesale batches of Ukrainian aircraft engines to the Russian Federation.
“Currently, a pre-trial investigation is underway to establish all the circumstances of criminal activity and bring the guilty parties to justice.”
The raid and the seizure of the artefacts were also confirmed by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 274th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 24th November, Russia had lost about 85,720 personnel, 2,898 tanks, 5,839 armoured combat vehicles, 1,889 artillery units, 395 multiple launch rocket systems, 209 air defence systems, 278 warplanes, 261 helicopters, 1,547 drones, 531 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 4,400 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 161 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the United Nations to take action against Russia over its continued air strikes on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, accusing Moscow of “crimes against humanity”.
This comes after Russia reportedly unleashed a new barrage of missiles across Ukraine on Wednesday that killed 10 people and forced the Ukrainian authorities to shut down all its nuclear power plants.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has again voiced concern about the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is Europe’s largest and which has suffered further damage from repeated shelling.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, said that at least 80 percent of the capital’s residents do not currently have power or running water.
Maia Sandu, the President of Ukraine’s western neighbour Moldova, said her country was suffering massive power outages as a result of Russian attacks on Ukraine, saying they have left her country “in the dark”.
Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu has said that more than half of the country has been left without electricity.
The governments of the European Union failed to reach a consensus on Wednesday regarding placing price caps on marine imports of Russian oil.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia was confident in the “success” of its actions in Ukraine.
Peskov said: “The future and the success of the special operation are beyond doubt.”
European cities have been urged to send generators to Ukraine to help the country through the cold winter months and to counter Russia’s relentless attacks on its electricity infrastructure.
Ukraine’s security service has raided a monastery in the capital Kyiv in an operation that it said was geared towards stopping Russian agents using the site as a base to carry out sabotage and intelligence activities.
The Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, has said that Britain is sending helicopters to Ukraine for the first time since the war began.
Ukrainian crews have been training in the United Kingdom for the last six weeks, learning to fly and operate the aircraft, which are geared towards providing search and rescue capabilities.
Three former British military Sea Kings will be provided to Ukraine and the first has reportedly already been delivered.
Wallace also said that the UK is sending Ukraine an additional 10,000 rounds of artillery.