In order to manage occupied part of Zaporizhzhia region, Russia set up occupation authorities – “military civil administrations” (MCA). Our material “Russian “government”of occupied Zaporizhzhia region” covered Russian regional administration. Invaders divided occupied territory into five parts or five raions with respective administrations: Melitopolsky, Berdyansky, Vasylivsky, Energodarsky and Pologivsky.
The Center for Journalist Investigations found out information about heads of occupation authorities in these raions by using Russian state databases, registers and other official sources of information. We start with Melitopol City, designated by Russians as “temporary capital” of occupied Zaporizhzhia region, and Melitopol raion.
Overwhelming majority of local collaborators who head occupation “authorities” of Melitopol, are linked to Yevhen Balytsky, the “governor” of the occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia region. During last ten years they were public figures: deputies or employees of local self-government bodies. In Melitopol, their activity covered terms of three city mayors: acting Ivan Fedorov, then, Sergii Minko (city mayor in 2015-2020) and deceased Sergii Valter (secretary of city council in 2002-2010 and city mayor in 2010-2013). Law enforcement bodies claimed that Valter created organized criminal group.
Positions of local collaborators in occupation authorities are not important. What does matter is the very fact that they voluntarily cooperate with occupants.
Melitopol: colleagues of traitor Balytsky
“Military civil administration of Melitopol” and its “head” – citizen of Ukraine Galyna Viktorivna Danylchencko – were registered in the Russian State Register of Legal Entities (EGRUL, Russian abbreviation) on December 22, 2022. Galyna Danylchenko is also the head of Zaporizhzhia regional branch of political party “United Russia”. Creation of the branch was announced in November 2022 but its official registration in Russia occurred in December 2022.
Before the Russian full scale invasion, Danylchenko has been the member of Melitopol City Council. She headed the faction of pro-Russian political party “Opposition Block”.
Danylchenko is 58 years old. She is very close to Balytsky. Since 2000, she has managed company “Melitopol Factory of Bearings” owned by the “governor’s family.
Under the support of Balytsky who has been then the member of the Ukrainian parliament, she ran for Melitopol City Council. She wanted to become the secretary of the city council. After the Russian occupation of the city, Danylchenko has been the first public figure who openly supported Russian occupants. Her video address to Melitopol residents was posted on March 13, 2022. She was titled “acting city mayor of Melitopol”.
Galyna Danylchenko, collaborator, the “head of MCA of Melitopol”. Photo: Telegram of occupation administration
Galyna Danylchenko forced personnel of Ukrainian local authorities to cooperate with occupation administration. Accompanied by soldiers with automatic rifles, Danylchenko forced directors of schools to cooperate, as Ukrainian Minister of Education Lilia Grynevych reported. She threatened to expel those directors who disagreed.
Now the “head of MCA” performs functions of the “wedding general”: she greets residents with public holidays, distributes assistance from Russian occupants, meets Russian public officials and tells the Russian mass media about improvement of life in Melitopol.
Russian occupants do not disclose all information about officials of the “MCA of Melitopol”. It seems they are afraid that their appointees will be persecuted by Ukrainian law enforcement bodies. The section “structure of administration” of the official website of “the MCA” presents information only about Danylchenko. We also found information about her deputy.
It is Mykola Leontiyovych Volyk. Before the Russian occupation, he has been the member of Melitopol Raion Council from pro-Russian political party “Opposition Platform – for Life”. His current position in the Russian occupation administration was disclosed after failed assassination attempt. There was an explosion near the entrance of his house but he survived.
In accordance with the data from the Single State Register of Ukraine, Mykola Volyk owned 50% of private enterprise “Reis” (co-founder of this private enterprise was Vinterman Sergii Zifridovych). It conducted passenger transportation in Melitopol including transportation of school boys and girls. Earlier Mr. Volyk headed municipal enterprises “Chystota-2”, “Melitopolkomunservise” and “Rembud”.
Yurii Petrovych Onyshuk, an ardent supporter of Balytsky and colleague of Danylchenko (he has been the member of faction “Opposition Block”), was appointed as the head of “Municipal unitary enterprise “Vodokanal”.
Under Yanukovych’s presidency, Onyshuk has been the first Deputy Mayor of Melitopol and later – the member of Melitopol City Council from pro-Russian political party “Opposition Block”.
After the Russian occupation, he agreed to cooperate with the enemy. He forced employees of the municipal water utility company to receive Russian passports and participate in pseudo referendum. His municipal enterprise has been among the first in the city which switched to payments in Rubles.
Kostiantyn Vitaliovych Turin is another traitor heading “Municipal unitary enterprise “Teplo Melitopol”, in accordance with the Russian State Register. Until 2016 he managed LLC “Melitopol Heating Networks”. He has been dismissed with public scandals.
Then, the enterprise was renamed into LLC “Teplo-Melitopol”. Its clone has been already registered in the Russian State Register.
Oleksii Borysovych Tegimbaev is the head of occupation “Department of the Capital Development and Municipal Economy of MCA of Melitopol”. He has worked for many years in local self-government bodies of Melitopol. He has managed the municipal enterprises from February 2013 until 2021 when he was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Department of the Capital Development and Municipal Economy.
After the Russian full scale invasion, Tegimbaev has been among the first public figures that started collaborating with the enemy. He threatened his subordinates and persuaded that “Russia is forever”. He rendered necessary municipal equipment to dismantle the flag of Ukraine and other symbols of the Ukrainian sovereignty in Melitopol.
Iryna Fedorivna Donets manages occupation “Melitopol City Department of Social Protection of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast”. She has worked in local self-government bodies since 2013. She has been the Deputy Head of the Department of Education, the Head of the Department of Social Protection and member of the executive committee of the Melitopol City Council.
In accordance with the information of “RIA Melitopol” website, Donets resigned from the position of the Head of the Department of Social Protection just a few days before it was announced that she was appointed as the head of occupation body.
Iryna Viktorivna Djachenko is another collaborator in the city sphere of social protection. Before the Russian occupation, she worked in the Melitopol City Employment Center as the head of department of cooperation with employers. After the Russian occupation, she agreed to manage the occupation “Center of Employment”.
Brothers Dmytro and Anton Trukhin also became collaborators. They manage occupation “department of municipal property” and “Municipal unitary enterprise “Chystota”. They also control funeral business in Melitopol.
Dmytro Gennadiovych Trukhin is renowned collaborator. In 2010, he has been the member of the Melitopol City Council from the Communist Party of Ukraine. In 2015, he switched to political party “Nash krai”. In 2020, he was elected to the City Council as a representative of pro-Russian political party “Opposition Platform – for Life”.
He also managed municipal enterprise “Komunalna vlasnist” [Municipal Property]. He resigned in 2016 after he was attacked by unknown person with the knife. Results of investigation were never published. Trukhin did not comment on possible causes of the attack. Some media reported about fight over funeral business in the city or political motives (presumably, certain political forces hinted Trukhin about what political sides he should choose).
After the Russian occupation of the city, Trukhin headed so-called “Department of Municipal Property, Architecture, Property and Land Relations of the MCA of Melitopol”.
Legitimate Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov reported in November 2022 that there was an assassination of Trukhin. There was an explosion near his house. Its results are unknown. Trukhin has not appeared in public after assassination.
Anton Gennadiovych Trukhin manages “Municipal unitary enterprise “Chystota”. It is registered by the Russian State Register as the Russian clone of Ukrainian municipal enterprise “Chystota” owned by the Melitopol City Council.
Before the Russian full scale invasion, Anton Trukhin has not been a public figure. He had funeral business as physical person-entrepreneur. He is the beneficiary of LLC “Granit-M” manufacturing tombstones. He managed private enterprise “Fenix-2009” which organized funerals. In 2019, Svitlana Gennadiivna Nazina started managing this enterprise (earlier she managed studio of vocal arts). She is sister of Anton and Dmytro Trukhin.
After the Russian occupation of Melitopol, Svitlana Nazina started collaborating with invaders. She manages “Municipal Budgetary Institution of Culture “Palace of Culture of Railway Workers”. Pseudo referendum and other meetings of Russian occupants and collaborators were held in this Palace.
Melitopol raion: grain and straw
Before the Russian full scale invasion, current “head of military civil administration of Melitopol raion” Andrii Siguta has been the member of Melitopol Raion Council from political party “Opposition Platform – for Life” and Deputy Head of Melitopol Raion Council.
Before 2020 elections, Siguta did not make public statements. However, his account in Russian social media “Vkontakte” clearly explained his political views. Since 2014, his posts have supported narratives about “brotherly people” and Ukraine as the artificial product of the Russian empire of Lenin-Stalin.
Siguta has been the head and founder of private enterprise. In December 2020, the enterprise changed its name (from private enterprise “Azovska logistychna compania” to private enterprise “Vesta Stroi”), place of registration (from Berdyansk to Myrne village in Melitopol raion) and manager (from Andrii Siguta to Yulia Siguta).
Almost immediately after December 2020 elections of raion councils and appointment of Siguta as the Deputy Head of Melitopol Raion Council , his “Vesta Stroi” won the public tender for renovation of territory near palace of culture in Novopylypivka of Myrne local community (the value of contract was 285 thousand UAH).
As the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office informed, Siguta started collaborating with Russian occupants in a month after the occupation. At first, he collaborated with Russian intelligence services and reported locations of the Ukrainian Army, military equipment and weapons. He selected potential informants among residents of Zaporizhzhia oblast, in order to receive and transfer to the Russian intelligence information about whereabouts of the Ukrainian troops, equipment and weapons, location of anti-air missile systems in the city and raion.
Andrii Siguta received an official suspicion within criminal investigation, in accordance with part 2 of article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “State Treason”.
We can conclude that the main task of Siguta is to supervise the work of heads of “rural settlements” (this is how Russian occupants call local communities) and to consider complaints by their residents.
Three out of sixteen heads of united territorial communities in Melitopol raion collaborate voluntarily with Russian occupants:
Valentyn Viktorovych Butenko, ex-head of Novenska united territorial community, now manages “Administration of Novenska rural settlement of Zaporizhzhia oblast”;
Yurii Ivanovych Radkov now manages “Myrnenska rural settlement”;
Khrystyna Ivanivna Levadna now manages “Kostiantynivka rural settlement” of the largest village in Ukraine (before occupation, she has been the secretary of Kostiantynivka rural council and acting head of Kostiantynivka unified territorial community).
In accordance with the Russian State Register, “Novobogdanovske rural settlement” is managed by Mykola Mykolaiovych Galvas, “Aleksandrovske rural settlement” – by Natalia Ivanivna Popova, “Novovasylivske rural settlement” – by Olena Oleksandrivna Cherniavska, “Chkalovske rural settlement” – by Iryna Oleksandrivna Chyrko.
“Plodorodnenske rural settlement” is headed by Alla Anatoliivna Kovaljova, “Veselovske rural settlement” – by Volodymyr Ivanovych Matsaka, Novouspenivska community – by Oleksii Anatoliovych Petrov.
Occupation administration of Semenivske community is headed by Pavlo Sergiovych Netrebko, former deputy of legitimate head of Semenivske unified territorial community. Terpinnivska community is managed by Yurii Valeriovych Volzhanin, former employee of municipal enterprise. Taras Valeriovych Shevchenko was appointed by Russian occupants to manage “Pryazovske rural settlement”. Before the Russian occupation, he headed department of municipal services of Pryazovske village council.
Occupation “administration of Kyrylivka rural settlement” is headed by Kateryna Leonidivna Umanets. An activist of “Russian Spring” in Melitopol, she fled to Russia in 2016 and worked as realtor there. “Akymovske rural settlement” is managed by Maksym Sergiovych Zubarev, ex-member of the Melitopol City Council from the Communist Party of Ukraine.
“Heads of rural settlements” have two main tasks. The first is to force farmers to register in the Russian tax administration and to sell their crops through “State Unitary Enterprise “State Grain Operator”, created by Russian occupants to steal the Ukrainian grain from occupied territories.
The second is to accommodate Russian troops on the territory of temporarily occupied raion. Russian occupants are turning Melitopol raion into large military base, with Russian troops accommodated in municipal buildings and private houses of local residents.
Local collaborators and “managers” brought from Russia are covered in the first part of the CJI’s investigation “Russian “government” of occupied Zaporizhzhia region: Russian and Crimean appointees and local traitors”.
Material is created by the information agency “The Center for Journalist Investigations” in partnership with the Human Rights Center ZMINA.