Ukraine: Kurchenko Employee Working for New Administration

By Denys Bigus

Serhiy Varlamov, the new Deputy Head of the State Reserve Agency of Ukraine, used to work for a close associate of the absconded ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and has apparently lied about it, according to shredded documents pieced together by YanukovychLeaks.org.

Last December, Varlamov was named to a key position at the strategically important agency, which is charged with procuring essential commodities like gasoline and grain to create a special reserve in case of shortages.

Kurchenko
Serhiy Kurchenko (middle)

According to the official website of the State Reserve, Varlamov had previously worked in various private oil and gas trading companies. His last job was listed in 2010, when he was the Deputy Director on Gas Supplies of the “Naftogas Ukraina” subsidiary.

Varlamov claims that he was unemployed between 2010 and 2013. ““I wasn’t working at all. I couldn’t find any job,” he told reporters for YanukovychLeaks/OCCRP.

Yet according to documents reconstructed by the Paper Division project of YanukovychLeaks.org, Varlamov during that period led the Natural Gas Department in Serhiy Kurchenko’s group of companies. Kurchenko, who fled Ukraine with Yanukovych, is a young billionaire close to the ex-president’s family who mysteriously amassed a huge fortune in just a few years.

The information was contained in documents the Paper Division salvaged from Kurchenko’s “East European Fuel and Energy Company” (VETEK) group. And Varlamov apparently did not bother to change his phone number between his days working for Kurchenko and his new job with the Ukrainian government: the same number is listed for Kurchenko’s “Head of Natural Gas Department” as for the “Deputy Head of the State Reserve Agency.”

Varlamov denies any connection to Kurchenko’s organizations.

In a related matter, the OliNews online publication has reported that former Feodosian Oil Supplies Company (FOSC) director Volodymyr Kuzenkov is now head of the Oil Supplies Company, named the legal successor to FOSC after the annexation of Crimea. The FOSC is a major oil transfer terminal in Crimea where oil is transferred from tankers to freight trains has been sanctioned by US authorities.

Kuzenkov’s performance as FOSC director from 2011-2014 was tarnished by oil smuggling scandals involving the terminal. Between 2012-2013 FOSC was the primary supplies destination for “Gas Ukrainy 2020” – the company from Kurchenko’s VETEK group.