In Kherson public money are «laundered» on shelters


Roman Mrochko, the Head of Kherson City Military Administration, regularly posts photos of repaired shelters and thanks of residents in his Telegram channel. Word “shelter” has been mentioned 73 times in Mrochko’s channel. Almost all posts about shelters indicate precise addresses. 

Addresses of all shelters of Kherson have been made public on special online map, developed by Kherson City Military Administration after public information request of the Center of Journalistic Investigations. However, city administration does not provide free access to the information on public money spent for constructing or repairing shelters. 

Scan of telegram post of Roman Mrochko, the Head of Kherson City Military Administration 

On October 31, the Head of City Military Administration published addresses of all 30 shelters with so-called “smart doors”. They automatically open after signals of air alerts. Some Kherson residents thank for them whereas other people are surprised that city authorities made addresses public. 

It should be emphasized that Roman Mrochko has acted in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation and decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. The decision ordered all local authorities to provide residents with an access to information about shelters and to create online maps with precise addresses. The website of Kherson City Administration has not had such a map before we inquired the Department of Civil Protection of the Administration. Upon official response, we published addresses of shelters and protective constructions on websites of the Center of Journalistic Investigations and IPC-South

However, the Department of Civil Protection headed by Oleksandr Gorin illegally hides their addresses in contracts on development of construction plans, repairing works and technical supervision. What are the reasons if these addresses are freely available online? We think that city authorities hide them because they would like to hide names of formal contractors (in accordance with contracts) and real contractors. 

Oleksandr Gorin, the Head of the Department of Civil Protection of Kherson City Military Administration. Photo:

For example, Gorin signed contracts with physical person-entrepreneur Natalia Pavlivna Yurchenko from Brovary about repairing one shelter. She registered her business status just one month before she signed three contracts in Kherson for the total value of almost 6 million UAH. At the same time, she looked for a job at online portal 

We called her and she told us that she did not conduct repairing works and she transferred Kherson contracts to her sister. We found her sister and, in her turn, she answered that we were the first persons who informed her about these contracts. 

Nevertheless, the shelter has been repaired and local residents were satisfied with the quality of works. Who did the job if official contractor Yurchenko did not? 

Residents of the building with repaired shelters told us about person with name “Davyd”. But this person is not mentioned in contracts signed by the Administration with Natalia Yurchenko. How the work of “Davyd” and his colleagues was paid? What has been the role of Yurchenko? Are we talking about the scheme of laundering public money through intermediaries? 

Our previous investigation revealed that a number of Kherson “shelter contracts” were granted to entrepreneurs from occupied Luhansk region (Severodonetsk). These are entrepreneurs Yurchenko and Rzhevsky. Recently, we identified another entrepreneur from the same region – Kudryavtseva Oksana Vasylivna. She received 19 contracts for developing repairing \ construction plans for almost 100 thousand UAH. 

Natalia Chekhuta, the First Deputy Head of Kherson City Military Administration. Photo:

The clue is simple. Head of the Department of Civil Protection Oleksandr Gorin and First Deputy Head of City Military Administration Natalia Chekhuta have worked as senior public officials in Luhansk region before the Russian full scale invasion. Roman Mrochko, the Head of Administration, has been military prosecutor of Luhansk garrison. 

Our previous article highlighted another entrepreneur from occupied territories in Zaporizhzhia region. Yevhen Chernobylsky registered as physical person-entrepreneur in Lviv two weeks before he signed his first contract in Kherson. He had to repair shelter in Kherson hospital but real job has been done by workers from Kharkiv. In October 2022, Chernobylsky received contracts to repair other two shelters in Kherson. Total value of his contracts exceeded 6 million UAH. 

His wife Aksenia Viktorivna Chernobylska has been recently involved into the repairing works of Kherson undergrounds. She won the contract to repair the second part of underground shelter for 0,5 million UAH. The Department of Civil Protection refused to disclose its address to us. But we identified it. Kherson public officials published information about the bid with the number of shelter but then cancelled it. Using this number, we found out that Aksenia Chernobylska repaired the second part of shelter in Kherson hospital. The first part has been repaired by her husband. 

We went to this underground shelter and met the guy who measured the premises. He called himself Zakhar from Lviv but refused to disclose his surname. He told that he came from Lviv to make measurement of shelters to be repaired. He refused to name his employer. 

Zakhar Nastyshyn makes measurement in Kherson underground shelter. Photo:

We were surprised when after this meeting we received a letter from Ukrainian citizen Nastyshyn Zakhar Mykhailovych with the requirement to withdraw information illegally obtained by our journalist! He argued that our journalist violated his right for privacy, dignity and reputation! He warned that he would submit the lawsuit to the court if his photo would be published. 

The person with above mentioned name is the student of Lviv Polytechnic University. It seems that he is a good student as he is the member of Scientific Board of the Institute of Construction and Engineering Systems within the University. It is remarkable that graduate of this Institute Golovachov Oleksii Oleksandrovych signed eight contracts for making repairing plans of Kherson shelters. He is the certified teacher of “program complex AVK-5” (this software is used to calculate budgets of construction works). 

We cannot state that these eight contracts also cover the premises for which Zakhar made measurement as the Department of Civil Protection illegally made addresses secret. But this coincidence is eloquent. 

Technical supervision is the necessary service for high quality repairing of Kherson shelters. Department of Civil Protection, headed by Oleksandr Gorin, has also contracted these services. According to our calculations, the Department signed 79 contracts “on services of current repairing” of shelters, as of the time of this article. One physical person-entrepreneur Prymachuk Igor Viktorovych won almost half of them – 42 contracts on technical supervision. He registered his business in Brovary near Kyiv. In 2015, he received the certificate of technical supervision engineer of the 2nd category. In accordance with the data of analytical system YouControl, he has never won public bids before Kherson contracts. The key question – is one person able to secure technical supervision of so many objects? 

Oleksii Boiko, the lawyer of non-profit Anticorruption Action Center and renowned public procurement expert, says that geographical scope of the activity of any physical person-entrepreneur does not have restrictions. But he doubts that one person is able to provide technical supervision for over 40 objects. 

“It means that he will have to hire 5-10 people. Alone, he will not be able to provide technical supervision for these objects. 

There is another question. Did the procurement entity find out whether he had hired personnel when contracts were signed? Supervisors should regularly visit objects and accept works. One person is not able to do it. Does he have additional five people? If he does not, then, law enforcement and inspection bodies should demand necessary documents from both parties of contracts”, as believes Oleksii Boiko. 

Upon our request, the lawyer of Anticorruption Action Center, read contracts on repairing of Kherson shelters and concluded that there were grounds to address law enforcement bodies. 

“If works are performed by the third party, without clear relations with procurement entity, then, nobody bears responsibility for the quality of works. It is an additional risk for citizens and harm to taxpayers. There are enough facts, uncovered by your investigations, for law enforcement bodies to start their own investigation. Investigators will see whether mentioned entrepreneurs have been used for money laundering. It is easy to monitor non-cash flows. I have analyzed many contracts during last years, but I did not meet contracts with newly created physical persons-entrepreneurs”, as says Oleksii Boiko. 

Besides that, the Department of Civil Protection violated legislative requirements about definition of the subject of procurement. All contracts indicate that the subject is “services of current repairing” but the procurement entity chooses the code of governmental classifier “other construction works”. Detailed budgets should have been also provided as attachments, in order to examine prices on works and construction materials. The Department refused to disclose them to the Center of Journalistic Investigations. Under such circumstances, the Center will appeal to the court…