Kyiv Chief Prosecutor Oleh Kiper spent 10-day New Year's vacation abroad - Schemes
The head of the Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office, 42-year-old Oleh Kiper, went on vacation abroad for the New Year and Christmas holidays - where he spent a total of 10 days. He left Ukraine on December 29, 2022, across the border with Poland and returned on January 8, 2023. This was reported by journalists of "Schemes" (Radio Liberty).
In a commentary to journalists, the chief prosecutor of Kyiv confirmed that he had gone abroad on vacation, explaining it by "family circumstances," but refused to name the country where he was vacationing. He explained this by security reasons, as "his wife changed her Russian citizenship to Ukrainian in the summer." At the same time, Skhemy found that at the time of this publication, the Russian authorities were registering the Russian passport of the wife of the Kyiv Chief Prosecutor, Iryna Kiper, as valid.
Earlier in January, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin fired his deputy Oleksiy Symonenko after Ukrayinska Pravda published a story about his New Year's vacation abroad, and President Zelenskyy enacted a decision of the National Security and Defense Council to ban all officials from traveling abroad on private business during martial law.
"At the end of December 2022, due to family circumstances and the need to travel abroad, I applied for a leave of absence with the possibility of traveling abroad. All documents regarding the right to travel abroad were submitted to the competent authorities for consideration and, after studying them and clarifying the grounds, they granted the appropriate permission," Prosecutor Oleh Kiper said in a response to Schemes provided by his press service.
Journalists tried three times to clarify in which country he spent his New Year's vacation, but Kiper refused to answer, saying only that "the vacation was not a holiday or New Year's vacation."
The chief prosecutor of the capital refused to disclose details, citing the fact that his wife "changed her Russian citizenship to Ukrainian in July 2022 in connection with the events related to the Russian war against Ukraine." Therefore, "for the sake of her safety, I would not like to publicly report in which country she lives with her child," the prosecutor said.
Instead, Skhemy found out that the Russian passport of his wife Iryna Kiper has not yet been canceled. The journalists checked the validity of the document as of the time of publication using the official service of the Russian Interior Ministry. This passport is not listed as invalid. Also, using the passport data, Schemes found her individual taxpayer number on the official website of the Federal Tax Service of Russia.
When journalists clarified that his wife's Russian passport was still valid, Kiper only replied that "these issues were dealt with by the Migration Service of Ukraine."
When asked how exactly the Migration Service of Ukraine can help Russian citizens to renounce their Russian citizenship, the head of the Kyiv prosecutor's office only said that "these are issues that fall within their competence," and advised to contact the Migration Service directly for clarification.
The Regulation on the State Migration Service of Ukraine states that the agency, within its competence, "carries out proceedings on the issues of admission to Ukrainian citizenship and termination of Ukrainian citizenship and submits relevant documents to the Commission on Citizenship under the President of Ukraine". Among the tasks of the SMS, there is no clause concerning assistance in renouncing citizenship of another country.
When asked by Skhemy how many times in total during the full-scale invasion the chief prosecutor of Kyiv traveled abroad for private purposes, Kiper said that he did so twice. In addition to the New Year's vacation, he also said that he went on vacation to Vienna (Austria) in August 2022, which he said was for medical treatment. In support of his words, he provided a receipt for medical services at a private clinic in Vienna in the amount of 1,500 euros.
On September 11, 2020, Oleh Kiper was appointed to the position of the Head of the Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office. Oleh Kiper started working in the prosecutor's office in 2001. He has worked in Odesa region, Ivano-Frankivsk region, and in recent years in Kyiv. He was the deputy head of the Main Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General's Office under Viktor Yanukovych.
In 2014, Kiper was included in the list of persons prohibited from holding public office under the law "On the Purification of Government." Last year, Kiper won a court ruling that his lustration was "groundless."
Recently, Ukrayinska Pravda reported that Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko went on vacation to Spain in December and early January in the car of a Lviv businessman.
On January 24, the Prosecutor General's Office announced the dismissal of Oleksiy Symonenko from the post of Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
On January 23, 2023, President Zelenskyy approves the National Security and Defense Council's decision to ban officials from traveling abroad under martial law.
"There is a fundamental decision of the National Security and Defense Council on officials' traveling abroad. This applies to all central government officials and various other levels of local government. This applies to law enforcement officers, people's deputies, prosecutors and all those who have to work for the state and in the state. If they want to rest now, they will rest outside the civil service. Officials will no longer be able to travel abroad for vacation or any other non-governmental purpose," the President said.