We are talking about a real case of the disappearance of about 10,000 IFAK tactical first aid kits with a total value of UAH 33.6 million. US humanitarian aid was stolen in Ukraine. First aid kits were purchased and sent by American volunteers for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As NGL.media found out (https://ngl.media/2023/07/25/mi-yim-tsogo-tak-prosto-ne-podaruyemo/), traces of the Lviv Regional Military Administration and some charitable funds with which it works. “UUARC” – United Ukrainian American Relief Committee. “LRMA” – Lviv Regional Military Administration.
United Ukrainian American Relief Committee.After the Russian invasion in February 2022, the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States actively joined in helping the Ukrainians. While the leadership of the two states negotiated the supply of weapons, ordinary Americans bought and sent uniforms, medical supplies and other aid to the Ukrainian army. One of the biggest aid organizations was the Ukrainian-American Joint Relief Committee. According to Nestor Zarechny, the head of UUARC, during the year and a half of the war, they have already sent more than 30 sea containers with humanitarian aid. The distribution of this aid in Ukraine is handled by local charitable foundations. In Lviv, this is the Center for Volunteering and Protection. Cooperation looked like this: UUARC representatives bought and packaged the necessary assistance in the United States, paid for delivery to Lviv, and in Ukraine representatives of the Volunteering and Protection Center met the cargo.
Lilia Tashchuk and Natalia ShelestakIn October 2022, Liliya Taschuk, an American of Ukrainian origin, contacted UUARC, who stated that she was cooperating with the Lviv Regional Military Administration (LRMA) and could take care of paying for the delivery of aid to Lviv. It should be noted that Lilia Tashchuk lives in Clayton, North Carolina, as of last year she worked as a regional director at S2S Global. The contact person who was supposed to meet the cargo in Lviv was Natalia Shelestak, a member of the local city council and a member of the Center for Volunteering and Protection Foundation.
U.S. humanitarian aid stolen in UkraineOn October 14, a container with humanitarian aid left the port of Wilmington for the United States. The container contained: gas masks, sleeping bags, winter uniforms and boots, as well as 9,700 IFAK military first aid kits, valued at $1.1 million. “First-aid kits are the most expensive of this cargo,” Andrey Nemirovsky, head of the Center for Volunteering and Protection, explains to NGL.media. According to Nestor Zarechny from UUARC, these first-aid kits alone cost the American volunteers $908,600.
Lilia Tashchuk – the disappearance of humanitarian aidBut from the moment the cargo was handed over to Lilia Tashchuk, strange things began to happen to him. “We sent the container and waited for delivery information, but there was none. And on November 8, friends sent us a link to a press release from the Lviv Regional Military Administration. It was indicated there that LRMA was transferring aid to the military. And among those items that were in the photo, we recognized gas masks that I personally bought and we transferred them to Ukraine,” says Nestor Zarechny. The LRMA report of November 3 did state that the administration had received aid from the United States—warm winter uniforms and gas masks. The cargo was allegedly handed over by “a team of volunteers, Intelligent Organization / Intelligent Organization”, Liliya Taschuk, Igor Byalko. There is not a single mention of UUARC in the LOV message. The founder of the Intelligent Organization Foundation, 35-year-old Igor Byalko, is also engaged in the employment of Ukrainians abroad – together with his friend Ivan Dancha and the founder of the Est-Ukraine company, which offers work for workers in the EU countries.
Yury Kholod Who stole humanitarian aid from the U.S.When the Americans learned that their cargo did not go to partners, but directly to LRMA, they began to find out what was happening. According to the Lvov volunteers, they were verbally confirmed by the LRMA that they had received only a small part of the humanitarian aid. And allegedly among this assistance there were no IFAK tactical first aid kits – the most valuable part of the cargo. “We learned that [Deputy Chairman of the Lviv Regional Council] Yury Kholod is dealing with humanitarian aid from the regional authorities, we contacted him. We created an online conversation with the Americans, where Kholod said that LRMA had indeed received our cargo, but, firstly, it had already been almost completely distributed and, secondly, there were no first-aid kits. But he said that they would give us acts [of acceptance and transfer] for the assistance that LRMA had already distributed.” However, the volunteers never received any documents even for part of the cargo, the receipt of which was confirmed by Kholod. And one could only guess about the fate of first-aid kits.
Ukrainian customs is a black hole!American donors decided to contact customs to find out when their cargo crossed the border with Ukraine. The answer is even more confusing. “When we began to investigate the route of the container, the Polish customs confirmed to us that on November 1 they had it at the Medika-Shegini checkpoint. But the Ukrainian customs officers claim that such a container has never entered them.” The editors of NGL.media sent the number of this container to LRMA in order to receive information about it and acts on the distributed assistance. There, as well as at customs, they denied receiving such a container.
Customs of Ukraine – the disappearance of humanitarian aid!So the situation is as follows: the cargo was brought to the checkpoint across the Polish-Ukrainian border, it was even registered by Polish customs officers. Then something happened to him, he was unsealed and, in an unknown way, some of the things ended up in Lviv at the LRMA warehouse, and the rest simply disappeared. Last year, the head of the capital construction department, Roman Kalagursky, was responsible for the logistics of humanitarian transportation in LRMA. We tried to find out from him the fate of the cargo, but he said that he did not remember well. For several weeks, the NGL.media journalist tried to get a comment from representatives of the “Intelligent Organization” Igor Byalka, Ivan Dancha and Lilia Tashchuk. All phone numbers that we managed to get were out of reach of the operators. They also ignored numerous written requests.
Organization “Clean Kyiv” and Maxim TkachikNGL.media received evidence that pallets with specific markings used for missing tactical first aid kits were in one of the Lviv warehouses used by LRMA. One of the volunteers said that he was sure that he had seen boxes with missing tactical first aid kits in a warehouse on the street. Land in Lviv. We managed to get an invoice with which LRMA handed over the humanitarian cargo to the volunteer from the warehouse on Zemelnaya. The document bears the seal of the charitable organization “Clean Kyiv”. Recall that “Clean Kyiv” appeared in the investigation by NGL.media about abuses with the permissions of the LRMA to travel abroad through the “Shlyakh” system. According to our data, Clean Kiev received 385 exit permits for men of military age, 39 of which (including the nominal founder and head of the Clean Kiev Charitable Foundation, 37-year-old Maxim Tkachik) never returned to Ukraine.
Humanitarian aid from the United States has disappeared in Ukraine!Representatives of “UUARC” and Lviv volunteers tried for a long time to get answers from Yuriy Kholod and Roman Kalagursky regarding the missing humanitarian aid, but to no avail. “They told new versions every time,” she says. “But they couldn’t say that they didn’t receive anything at all, because we closed their messages with our humanitarian aid. Therefore, they began to say that it was not them, but “Clean Kyiv” who received this help.” In November 2022, the leaders of the American fund “UUARC” turned to the police in the United States and Ukraine. Now this case is being investigated, during which they conducted searches in a warehouse on the street. Land. It is also known that the SBU became interested in the case.
“Do you understand what almost 10,000 first aid kits are? That’s thousands of lives saved.