Ukraine Accuses Russian Oligarch of Fueling the Invasion

Published: 19 February 2024

Glukhiv Quarry UkraineA quarry under control of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska - Glukhiv Quartz Quarry in Ukraine. (Photo: Security Service of Ukraine, License)

By Zdravko Ljubas

Ukraine says it has served the globally sanctioned Russian billionaire  Oleg Deripaska a notice of suspicion in absentia for property embezzlement, money laundering and trying to change the nation’s borders by aiding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) announced it has pressed charges against the longstanding ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has apprehended two key executives from Deripaska’s team in Ukraine.

Officers arrested the director of the mining company Glukhiv Quartz Quarry and the overseer of this institution, who is associated with the Russian oligarch and who obtained a residence permit in the Russian Federation in 2021.

The inquiry revealed that the two helped Deripaska in illegally seizing control of the quarry’s production facilities in 2012, during the reign of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, despite the existing prohibition on their sale.

Subsequently, leading up to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the management of the mining company continued to supply Russia with wholesale batches of iron ores sourced from the Ukrainian quarry, according to the SBU.

The raw materials from Ukraine were then allegedly funneled into the Russian military industry, and used for the production of Iskander missiles, combat drones and radar systems, crucial elements of Russia’s formidable military apparatus.

The SBU stressed that the assets of Glukhiv Quartz Quarry were seized and nationalized for the benefit of Ukraine in February last year.

Deripaska is confronted with charges under seven articles of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, encompassing allegations such as property embezzlement, money laundering, and orchestrating the funding of endeavors aimed at forcibly altering Ukraine’s constitutional order or seizing state power, even to the extent of changing the nation’s border.

The director of the quarry faces charges of money laundering and conspiracy against the state, while Deripaska’s business curator has been implicated in suspicion of property embezzlement and money laundering.

Another two suspects, a citizen of Cyprus, and a manager from Deripaska’s industrial giant Rusal, the sole Russian aluminum producer, purportedly aiding the unlawful disposal of the enterprise, have likewise been notified of suspicion in absentia, according to the SBU.