Our traitors

NGL.media found 1578 Ukrainian citizens who became collaborators. Here are their names
28 September 2023

On the morning of October 05, 2022, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed the documents on formally incorporating four Ukrainian oblasts – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson into Russia. Since that day, information about occupational authorities gradually started appearing in the Russian register і USRLE, Unified State Register of Legal Entities .

Based on this information і as of the beginning of August 2023 , NGL.media managed to identify the total of 1,816 representatives of occupation authorities – from police or courts to schools and public utility companies. The overwhelming majority (1,578, or almost 87%) turned out to be collaborators – Ukrainian citizens who started serving Russians and became heads of some agencies, sometimes several of them at once.

Below you will find their nominal rolls with the possibility to sort by regions or types of agencies and authorities.

HOW DID WE DO IT? Згорнути

When data from the occupied territories appeared in Russian state register, it became a real treasure for Ukrainian investigators, analysts and law enforcement. If previously the only way to identity new heads of various agencies that came under occupation was through social media or publications in Russian media, now this information is supported by the data from official register.

However, the problem was that excerpts from the register can be received only in certain name or organization. Still, like it often happens, there were anonymous helpers who leaked all the data from Russian registers regarding the occupied territories and made them publicly accessible.

Data analyst Iaroslav Harahuts who monitors such leaks shared this information with NGL.media. Then we filtered the agencies we wanted by their codes of economic activity. Additionally, we updated the information about the agencies’ status, their addresses and head using Checko service*.

Following this, NGL.media journalists spent three months to directly identify 1.816 heads of occupational authorities, including their citizenship. We emphasize that we are talking about heads, and not rank-and-file employees who could have stayed in their positions due to various circumstances, including unsurmountable ones.

* the list of the authorities in the occupied territories is valid as of early July 2023, and the data about their heads – as of early August. It’s possible our database contains no information about state authorities or change of management that happened later.

Частка українців у керівництві різних окупаційних структур (інфографіка)On January 30, 2023, Oleksandr Gaglazov, 52, became a head of the «administration of Federal Security Service in Zaporizhzhia region» formed in Melitopol. Previously he was working at the similar administration of FSS in Tambov, Russia. It’s a typical situation for occupied territories – only Russians take key positions in divisions of this special service.

The same refers to the management of occupational administrations of the Russian Investigative Committee. It is the main agency responsible for investigating crimes committed so-called «special subjects» (deputies, judges, prosecutors, police officers and other public servants). It makes sense to keep such agencies under special control.

On the contrary, over 87% local police precincts are headed by Ukrainian citizens the majority of which used to be police officers. Most colonies, prisons and pre-trial detention facilities are also headed by collaborators coming from Ukrainian penitentiary system; there almost 80% of these.

Another sphere where the outsiders from Russia largely outnumber Ukrainians are military units and enlistment centers, where Russians make up 80% of command. We found only two military units in Crimea headed by Mykhailo Shcherbak and Serhii Maksymenko, former citizens of Ukraine. Additionally, Ievhen Kucherenko born in Khartsyzsk was appointed chief enlistment officer of self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic. He was proving his loyalty to invaders for eight years when he was fighting in the ranks of illegal armed groups. A collaborator from Crimea Vadym Shuryhin became a head of Kherson military enlistment office.

Russian citizens make up 75% of prosecution administration. The only exceptions are self-proclaimed «Prosecutor’s office of Donetsk people’s republic» and former «General prosecutor’s office of Donetsk people’s republic» which is being liquidated at the moment. A collaborator, formerly Ukrainian General Prosecution officer Andrii Spivak is in charge of the first one. He became a «prosecutor general of Donetsk people’s republic» before the official annexation. The second agency is being liquidated by a former Ukrainian prosecutor Maksym Simenko.

Russians also manage 64% of courts and court departments in the occupied territories.

Despite obvious mistrust in the locals, Russians are unable to fill all senior positions with their compatriots from Tambov or Riazan – that’s why Ukrainians make up 87% of almost two thousand heads of various agencies in the occupied territory. All of them made a conscious choice to work with the enemy and become collaborators to receive or keep the desired office.

Despite the fact that the first collaborators appeared back in 2014 after annexation of Crimea, a separate article on «Collaboration activity» appeared in the Criminal Code of Ukraine only in spring last year. This article envisages liability for various forms of collaboration with invaders – for instance, a citizen of Ukraine voluntarily holding a position related to performance of organizational/management or administrative/economic functions is punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment with possible confiscation of property. If a collaborator holds a senior office in courts or law enforcement agencies, he is in for 12-15 years in prison, or even a life sentence under certain circumstances.

An incredible career growth of Ievhenia Kuzmenko, 34, from Kherson region, can serve as a typical example. Our colleagues from the «Center of Investigative Journalism» managed to find her only photo in a gallery of graduates from Odesa Enhancement School LifeProPlus where she trained to be a massage therapist.

Kuzmenko used to live in Kherson and made a living by massages. After Russian invasion she decided to go back to her parents in Novotroitske settlement where she started working in employment center. In April that year Ievhenia Kuzmenko became a head of Novotroitske military-civil administration. Strikingly, her father Mykola Kuzmenko is an archpriest of local eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and wasn’t shy about his pro-Russian views even before the war.

In total, Ukrainian citizens became heads of over a thousand occupational municipal structures, where they make up almost 95%. Former village and district heads, deputies and civil servants, as well as people who previously had no influence in local communities – masseurs, taxi drivers, bootleggers or ex-convicts became local gauleiters

There many Ukrainians in the sphere of education. According to NGL.media investigation, these are mostly former Ukrainian teacher who teach children in schools and kindergartens in the occupied territories to properly love Russia. Their salaries in administrations and departments of education are being calculated by the same employees that were doing it before the war.

«She dreamt to be a head of something her entire life. However, Olena Tereshchenko was so stupid that no one of sound mind ever had an idea to appoint her to any position. Now the idiot’s dream came true». It’s how Mykhailo Honchar, ex-head of education department of Kakhovka city council, characterized his former subordinate. Olena Tereshchenko, 50, was working as an elementary school teacher before the invasion, and in April 2022 she was appointed a headmistress of Kakhovka school No.1.

The woman stopped at nothing to get into office – it was at her instigation that Russians took the legitimate schoolmaster prisoner several times. In March this year Olena Tereshchenko was introduced as not only a headmistress, but a new head of education department of occupational administration.

Speaking about top-3 categories of «government agencies» where local henchmen statistically prevail, these are mostly related to the social sphere or have quite limited authorities. For instance, collaborators are in charge of all land resources committees of self-proclaimed «Donetsk people’s republic» without exception. Their function is developing land management projects, registering land ownership, land appraisal and cadastral map keeping.

Running second in number of collaborators are various Cossack organizations in the occupied Crimea. Heads of 43 out of 44 presently active legal entities are former holders of Ukrainian passports. Formally, Cossack associations are not government agencies, but citizen groups; however, they are authorized to keep public order, guard public and municipal institutions as well as conduct military training of their members

In 2014, pro-Russian Cossacks were taking active part in annexation of Crimea, and now they’re fighting in the ranks of their own armed groups on the side of the invaders. Later on, they often lead occupying administrations, like former gauleiter of Polohy town in Zaporizhzhia region Stepan Lopatin. NGL.media wrote about him on numerous occasions last year.

Invaders also charged collaborators with caring for vulnerable social groups. These are the collaborators who manage 97% of pension funds, social insurance offices, social services and local employment centers.

UPD (08.11.2023). Previously, in this article, it was mentioned that «a collaborator from Crimea Vadym Shuryhin became a head of Kherson military enlistment office». We have made an identification mistake due to the complete coincidence of the surname. In fact, the Kherson Military Commissariat has been headed by a citizen of the Russian Federation, Vadym Shuryhin. We thank the KibOrg telegram channel for the documents provided and apologize to our readers for the mistake.

We express our gratitude to the founder of the project Clarity Project Iaroslav Harahuts, and analytical platform YouControl for the assistance in preparation of this article.

This publication was prepared as a part of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) project with the financial support from the European Union. The publication contents is a sole responsibility of the editorial team and does not reflect the views of the European Union or the Institute for War and Peace Reporting