Who Are Deputies of Russian Occupation Head of Nova Kakhovka Vitalii Gura?

Russian «senator» Konstantin Basuk, Maksym Novak, Violetta Shlyazhko and Marjan Zholubak in Nova Kakhovka, January 2024. Photo: social media

After appointment of Vitalii Gura as the new «head» of Russian occupation administration of Nova Kakhovka, Marjan Zholubak and Maksym Novak were appointed as his deputies. Violetta Shlyazhko was selected as an advisor of new «head». The Center of Journalist Investigations identified these people and their stories of betrayal.

Co-owner of «Astron», «Country of sweets» and business with counterfeit cognac

Marjan Zholubak has been appointed as the «deputy head» of Russian occupation administration of Nova Kakhovka on issues of municipal economy. A few local residents know him, though, many people in the city and neighboring Kakhovka are familiar with his business. Zholubak has always kept low public profile, as tell people who know him personally. Even his former employees have never met him because he has rarely visited Kherson region since 2014 and until Russian occupation of Nova Kakhovka.

Zholubak Marjan Volodymyrovych was born on April 24, 1965 in Voutychi village of Sambir raion of Lviv region. It is near the Ukrainian state border with Poland.

Collaborator Marjan Zholubak. Photo: social media

Olesya Zholubak, former wife of collaborator, described him to the Center of Journalist Investigations in the following way: «He came from poor family. We met when we studied at the institute in Kyiv. We married and came to my native Nova Kakhovka. My father worked at the winery named after Lenin in Vesele village. He helped Marjan to get employment at cognac factory «Tavria». This factory became springboard for semi-criminal business career of my husband».

Marjan Zholubak launched his business with selling counterfeit cognac. He sold it all over Ukraine – from Kyiv to Sevastopol. His partner has been Sergii Lelikov. They bought shop «Astron» in the center of Kakhovka and registered limited liability company with the same name at the beginning of 2000s.

As city residents reported, «Astron» has been open and regularly renewed its goods during first months of the Russian occupation.

Shop «Astron» in Kakhovka. Photo: Oleksii Yerekhynskyi/Google Maps

«Majority of other shops were empty whereas «Astron» actively sold a variety of goods. Later we realized that the owner of the shop cooperated with Russian troops. By the way, sellers at «Astron» have never met their owners because they did not come to the city», as told the Center of Journalist Investigations residents of Kakhovka who stayed in the city during the first months of Russian occupation.

In 2003-2004, Marjan Zholubak and Sergii Lelikov have founded LLC «Golf» in Sevastopol (legal address – Borysova street, 7, Sevastopol).

In accordance with service YouControl, the business profile of LLC «Golf» is retail trade of food products and fuel, restaurant business, leasing property and organization of gambling. Both partners have been active in these spheres before the Russian occupation of Nova Kakhovka.

In 2008, Zholubak and Lelikov set up LLC «Aljans Produkt» in Nova Kakhovka. They opened pastry shop on the eve of the Russian full scale invasion. They also launched a network of shops under trade mark «Country of sweets» registered by Lelikov. In 2019, its advertisement has been conducted by known website «Myrotvorets».

Pastry shop «Country of sweets», 2019. Photo: Myrotvorets

At the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Marjan Zholubak has had several shops in Nova Kakhovka, including in the trade center in district «Sokil», warehouses and two luxury residences with swimming pool in Fiolent, near Sevastopol.

Marjan Zholubak has been happy when Russians occupied the Crimean peninsula. In 2015, he settled in Sevastopol, received Russian passport and invited his wife to join him. But their relations were broken by that time and they divorced.

As Olesya Zholubak told, Marjan has been rude and have often beaten his wife and her mother. Olesya addressed the police but policemen did not react because they treated her complaints as usual family quarrels.

Collaborator Marjan Zholubak. Photo: social media

«Mykola Palamarchuk has played a decisive role in the development of Zholubak’s business empire. He has been a friend of Sergii Lelikov. Palamarchuk has held senior positions in main departments of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kherson region and Crimea. He has been elected to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine two times. Ukrainian authorities did not pay attention to my husband’s business because he had high level connections and support», as tells Olesya Zholubak.

She tells that Marjan Zholubak returned to occupied Nova Kakhovka in the spring of 2022. She and her mother left occupied city in April 2022. After their escape, her former husband broke her apartment and stole everything, including bed linen.

Now «business empire» of Zholubak and Lelikov fell apart. Marjan Zholubak borrowed 300 thousand UAH from Ukrainian bank before the Russian invasion and did not pay off the credit. He has been appointed as «the deputy head» of Russian administration of Nova Kakhovka.

«The news about his appointment shocked all my friends. They are surprised – why the person born in Lviv region turned into «lover of the Russian world»? I am not surprised. Marjan has been always greedy; he has been interested only in the money. For his personal enrichment, he could sell his soul to the devil and betray people close to him», as says Olesya Zholubak.

Violetta Shlyazhko, Russian «senator» Konstantin Basuk, Marjan Zholubak and Maksym Novak in Nova Kakhovka, January 2024. Photo from social media of Russian occupation authorities

Member of «United Russia» and advisor-debtor

Novak Maksym Vitaliyovych is another deputy head of the Russian occupation administration of Nova Kakhovka. He was born on July 14, 1989. He resided in Kozatske village of Nova Kakhovka community of Kakhovka district. His village has been liberated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in November 2022.

Collaborator Maksym Novak. Photo: social media

Maksym Novak joined Russian occupants and participated in Russian propaganda events. He has been appointed as «the manager of the service to support civilians» of Putin’s political party «United Russia» in Nova Kakhovka.

His wife Novak Yulia Oleksandrivna also joined Russian occupants. She was born on July 7, 1993. «United Russia» «promoted» her into the occupation «council of deputies» of Nova Kakhovka.

Collaborator Yulia Novak. Photo: social media

Shlyazhko Violetta Volodymyrivna has been appointed as an advisor of the occupation «head» of Nova Kakhovka. She was born on October 28, 1980. She is the resident of Nova Kakhovka. Before the Russian occupation, she has been physical person-entrepreneur with business profile «electrical works». In 2017-2021, she has earned over 5 million UAH by winning public bids of local self-government bodies in Kakhovka and Beryslav raions on repairing street lights.

On 30 October, 2023, the Commercial Court of Odesa region announced decision in the case opened upon the lawsuit of JSC «Ukrgasbank». The court decided that Violetta Shlyazhko must return the credit of almost 300 thousand UAH taken from «Ukrgasbank» in autumn 2021. She did not attend court hearings…