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Journalists say top Kyiv prosecutor spent New Year's holidays abroad

Oleh Kiper left Ukraine for 10 days across the border with Poland.

Journalists say top Kyiv prosecutor spent New Year's holidays abroad
Oleh Kiper

The head of the Kyiv city prosecutor's office, Oleh Kiper, went on a 10-day vacation abroad during the New Year and Christmas holidays, journalists of the Skhemy investigative project have said.

It is noted that Kiper left Ukraine on 29 December 2022 via the border with Poland and returned on 8 January 2023.

In a commentary to journalists, he confirmed that he had gone abroad on vacation for "family reasons", 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". However, Skhemy found that at the time of publication, the Russian authorities considered the Russian passport of his wife, 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 Defence 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," Kiper said in a response to Schemes provided by his press service.

Journalists tried three times to clarify in which country he had spent his New Year's vacation, but Kiper refused to answer, saying only that "it was not a holiday or New Year's vacation".

He 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 our child," the prosecutor said.

Instead, Skhemy found out that the Russian passport of his wife Iryna Kiper has not yet been cancelled. 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, Skhemy found her individual taxpayer number on the official website of the Federal Tax Service of Russia.

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