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Kiev’s corruption crackdown is ploy to make oligarchs fund conflict — Kherson Region head

Most Ukrainian oligarchs don’t live in the country, Kherson Region Interim Governor says

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Kherson Region Interim Governor Vladimir Saldo on Wednesday said Ukraine’s widely reported crackdown on corruption is merely a ploy to get the country’s oligarchs to bankroll the ongoing hostilities and distract people from real problems.

"This story aims to do just one thing: make Ukrainian oligarchs - they have them - participate in the financing of the nonsense that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is doing on orders from across the ocean. He apparently wants to make them part of this campaign, these military operations, in this manner," he said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television.

Saldo also said most Ukrainian oligarchs don’t live in the country.

"Most oligarchs are abroad. All that is just for show. Ukrainian oligarchs have long ago invaded many European cities, and not only European, and I think it’s very hard to catch them in Kiev. So, that all is just for show and won’t get them anything, except one thing: He (Zelensky - TASS) wants to divert attention. It’s part of information warfare," the official said.

He said an increasing number of Ukrainians start to realize the government is lying to them.

Ukrainian law enforcement agents were reported to conduct a series of searches on Wednesday, with some of them related to suspected corruption at oil companies Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta. Some of the searches targeted the home of businessman Igor Kolomoisky and the home and office of the chief of the tax service of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.