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Yanukovychleaks shed light on graft

world Updated: Mar 14, 2014 18:54 IST
Noopur Tiwari

Tens of thousands of documents were fished out from a reservoir inside Ukraine’s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s sprawling luxury mansion in Kiev. These are now being uploaded to a website called “Yanukovychleaks”. On February 22, when news came out that Yanukovych had fled, Euromaidan protesters seized the Presidential estate.

Vlad Lavrov, a Ukrainian journalist who was also there, told HT on the phone from Kiev, that they found a trove of documents that seemed to have been hastily dumped in the “lake”.

Divers fished out 200 folders of soggy folders. Lavrov and other journalists from a dozen other rival news organisations, came together to dry, scan and upload the sensitive material to make it public before it was seized or destroyed.

“We haven’t found time to study all the documents yet. We want to first finish uploading them by this week. 12,000 scans are already up” said Lavrov.

One batch of documents shows exorbitant sums spent on the opulent palace, another reveals cash flows in two charity funds associated with Yanukovuch.

Receipts of cash transactions of millions of euros and names of blacklisted journalists and activists were also found. Journalists at Yanukovychleaks are hoping their catch will reveal the regime’s corruption. The ousted Ukranian president had his own zoo, yachts, golf course and helipad in the same residence.