Ihor Hrynkevych’s hidden story

From construction scandals in Lviv to the scandal with the MOD tenders
16 February 2024

Until quite recently, the name of Ihor Hrynkevych did not mean much to the general public. Still, he turned from an ordinary Lviv businessman into a man discussed in hairdressing salons and kitchens in just a few weeks.

Over the past month, Hrynkevych was served with two charges at once: for attempting to give an SBI officer a $500,000 bribe and for machinations with procurement of clothing and underwear for the Armed Forces. In fact, Ihor Hrynkevych was accused of serious abuses over ten years ago, and his companies were regularly involved in scandals.

How did he manage to avoid responsibility for all these years and what we still don’t know about Ihor Hrynkevych? NGL.media publishes new facts from the scandalous businessman’s life.


Ihor Hrynkevych’s official biography, prior to his entering the construction business, is full of gaps. All we know for certain is that he was born in Lviv. There are no pages on social media and no information which school he attended or where he received further education.

In fact, Hrynkevych started his career not as a builder, but as an ordinary taxman, and it seems that this job opened up almost limitless business opportunities for him.

At the end of 1994, when he was only 21, Ihor Hrynkevych became a state tax inspector of the individual audit department of the State Tax Inspectorate in the Halytskyi district of Lviv, and six months later he became a senior inspector. However, he resigned eighteen months later, in the summer of 1996.

We don`t known for certain what he did for the following year and a half, but since December 1998, Ihor Hrynkevych “served in the Main Department of Tax Police of the State Tax Inspectorate in Lviv”, the Main Department of the State Tax Service in Lviv Oblast told NGL.media. In 2000, he transferred from the city to the regional tax police department. Back then, Serhii Medvedchuk the head of the regional tax office (1998-2004). His brother Viktor Medvedchuk was a very influential figure in those days.

However, in a few years Hrynkevych resigned from the tax police too. In May 2003 he got a job at the Lviv company Modus 2000, where he stayed until the fall of 2004. His wife Svitlana Hrynkevych also worked there for a short time.

Ihor Hrynkevych after his detention for attempting to give a bribe of $500,000, December 29, 2023 (photo by SBI)

Ihor Hrynkevych after his detention for attempting to give a bribe of $500,000, December 29, 2023 (photo by SBI)

According to YouControl, in 2005 Ihor Hrynkevych became the director of the “Verkhovyna Construction Company”. Back then, Anatolii Horodechnyi and Yurii Miskiv, whom Horodechnyi calls “Hrynkevych’s associate”, were founders and owners of the company.

Now Anatolii Horodechnyi recalls that he met Ihor Hrynkevych when the latter summoned him to be questioned by the tax police. “I was working at “Stalkonstruktsiya” і Subsidiary company “Lviv Specialized Department Stalkonstruktsiya No. 137” of “Centrostalkonstruktsiya” Open Joint Stock Company back then. He was an absolutely normal person, a regular guy. But we haven’t been in touch for 15 years,” Horodechnyi tolds NGL.media.

His explanation suggests that Hrynkevych was involved in “Verkhovyna”’s business from the very beginning. Still, he officially became the company’s co-owner only in 2011.

According to YouControl, Hrynkevych’s first business of his own was officially established in 2006, when he acquired a stake in the “Cobra” security and law company. In 2009, Hrynkevych became a co-owner of “B.K. Verkhovyna” і not to be confused with the “Verkhovyna Construction Company” , established in 2006, and the “Lviv Construction Holding”. In 2011, he and Horodechnyi became co-owners of the off-stated “Verkhovyna Construction Company”. This company was restoring the Armenian Cathedral in Lviv, and it was involved in his first scandal.

That was the first time that Ihor Hrynkevych was accused of forgery, but he was quickly acquitted “due to the absence of a crime in his actions.” However, a year later, the ruling and verdict were canceled, and the case was sent for a new trial. Meanwhile, in 2013-2014 Hrynkevych liquidated both the “Verkhovyna Construction Company” and “B.K. Verkhovyna”. The case of embezzlement during the restoration of the Armenian Cathedral lasted for several more years, and in 2016 the court even sent it for additional investigation. Still, in two years more it came to nothing.

Ihor Hrynkevych and his son Roman pose with the Defense Ministry's award (photo by Hope.ua)

Ihor Hrynkevych and his son Roman pose with the Defense Ministry’s award (photo by Hope.ua)

His wife Svitlana Hrynkevych started developing the business alongside her husband. Apart from her work as a teacher, first at the Lviv Commercial Academy and later at Lviv Polytechnic University, in 2014 she co-founded the “Lviv Prefabricated Structures Plant-1”. Her friend and neighbor Olena Sapiha, the daughter of General Pavlo Tkachuk, the longtime head of the National Ground Forces Academy, becomes her partner in this company.

Two years later, Olena Sapiha and Svitlana Hrynkevych founded another joint company, “West Building Group” (“Dorbudmontazh-1” at the time). However, in three months Olena Sapiha officially stopped being a founder, and Natalia Tymruk, the company’s lawyer, became its sole owner. Also, Olena Sapiha stopped being a co-founder of “Lviv Prefabricated Structures Plant-1” in 2019.

In general, Ihor Hrynkevych is concerned about his reputation, believe his former employees. After 2011 and up to now, he has not personally been involved in criminal proceedings, despite his associated companies being repeatedly mentioned in court rulings. These companies either evaded taxes, failed to complete orders, or inflated prices. Searches happened in the offices of his companies, but Ihor Hrynkevych himself wasn’t served with any charges.

Until December 2023, all the trouble was happening to others, often those who didn’t seem to understand much about what they were signing. Or sometimes those who were officially incapacitated.

“Would you like to earn a bit of money?”

Yevhen Mykhailiuk, 66, from Novyi Yarychiv in Lviv Oblast, who became both the founder and director of “Vizyn Rich” company in late 2018, is a typical example. While he was “in charge” for almost two and a half years, the company received contracts worth more than UAH 150 million і according to YouControl in several oblasts of Ukraine.

For Mykhailiuk personally, this resulted in numerous interrogations and charges in court. In a conversation with NGL.media, he calmly recalls Hrynkevych: “He’s a regular guy. He used to tell me: don’t worry, Yevhen, everything will be fine. Everything will get settled. We are working!”

Yevhen Mykhailiuk from Novyi Yarychiv in Lviv Oblast, who became both the founder and director of “Vizyn Rich” (photo by NGL.media)

Yevhen Mykhailiuk from Novyi Yarychiv in Lviv Oblast, who became both the founder and director of “Vizyn Rich” (photo by NGL.media)

In the end, everything got “settled”. In 2021, Mykhailiuk admitted in court that he was a fictitious head of the company, receiving one thousand hryvnias a month for his services. He was found guilty of forgery and fined UAH 17 thousand. According to the court, all he received during his “cooperation” with Hrynkevych was UAH 8 thousand.

For more than eight years, Yevhen Mykhailiuk has been considered to have limited legal capacity і Yevhen Mykhailiuk suffers from mental and behavioral disorders due to alcohol abuse and is enrolled in care .

Initially, his son was his official guardian, and in 2023, the court appointed his wife as his guardian. At the same time, he not only “managed” the construction business, but also entered into a surety agreement with Alliance Bank for UAH 1.3 million to secure the fulfillment of “Vizin Rich”’s obligations.

Thanks to Mykhailiuk’s explanations, NGL.media found out that several other residents of Novyi Yarychiv, who were engaged by a certain Oleh, are also fictitious directors. It turned out to be Oleh Tomashevskyi, who is still the founder of “Bud Imperial Group” and was its head in 2016-2017. It is known that Tomashevskyi used to work as an ordinary foreman at “Megabudmax”, which was once (in 2012-2013) headed by Ihor Hrynkevych. At the end of 2023, Oleh Tomashevskyi died.

NGL.media managed to talk to another “director” of Hrynkevych’s companies “director” of Hrynkevych’s companies, Ihor Savchyn, 65, who is Mykhailiuk’s neighbor, He was the formal head of “West Building Group” for a whole year, although he doesn’t remember much: “Oleh [Tomashevsky] came to me and said: “Ihor, would you like to earn a bit of money? You won’t have to do anything.” I said, “No problem”. But he sent me a thousand hryvnias once or twice. I really didn’t do anything.”

Ihor Savchyn, former head of “West Building Group” (photo by NGL.media)

Ihor Savchyn, former head of “West Building Group” (photo by NGL.media)

Two other “directors” from Novyi Yarychiv are Roman Nikhtii and Volodymyr Strykovskyi. Nikhtii died too, but according to YouControl, he is still a director of the “Lviv Construction Holding”, a company also co-founded by Ihor Hrynkevych.

As for Strykovsky, he has been listed as the official director of “West Building Group LLC” since 2019. Formerly a musician, he now works as a taxi driver. His relatives, with whom we were able to talk, were very surprised that he was the director of a construction company – they knew nothing about it.

This company was also headed by Yurii Rohachov (in 2017-2018), who had previously been a freelance engineer і this is exactly what the documents submitted by the company for one of the ” Lviv Construction Holding” tenders say. In a conversation with NGL.media, he also confirmed that he was a director only “on paper.”

According to him, he did not receive any money in this position, and someone simply “took advantage of his decency.” He did not sign any documents, as he testified in court. He does not remember who involved him in this, and he does not have his phone number. Rohachov confirms that he knows Hrynkevych, but when asked whether he personally offered him to become a nominal director, he answers uncertainly: “maybe, but I don’t remember anymore.”

According to one of Hrynkevych’s former employees, who agreed to speak to NGL.media on condition of anonymity, various people were made fake directors – not only marginalized people, but also ordinary employees of the companies. Hrynkevych explained his requests by saying that he did not want his name to appear in the documents because he had a bad reputation after the scandal with the restoration of the Armenian Cathedral and other procurements.

However, these explanations don’t look too convincing. According to those who were summoned for interrogation, they were directly asked about Ihor Hrynkevych, who had no official involvement with the construction companies investigated by law enforcement.

Not just construction

There were numerous investigations of that kind. One of the most resounding ones was the investigation into Ihor Hrynkevych’s cooperation with “Ukrenergo” in 2019-2020. Back then, law enforcement claimed that “Ukrenergo” employees had colluded with the “actual owners of “Vizyn Rich LLC” to misappropriate budget funds”.

During the investigation of the case, a number of searches were conducted, including in the office of “Vizin Rich”. They found the seals of more than a dozen companies, some of which are now listed in the YouControl analytical service as the “Hrynkevych Family Group” і During the searches in the office of “Vizin Rich”, the seals of “West Building Group”, “Lviv Construction Holding” and “V.I.P.”,“ Construction Company”, Construction Alliance Montazhproekt, Megabudmax, Perspectiva Misto Bud, etc. were found. .

However, that case came to nothing. At least in the court register, there is no verdict, only rulings on the course of the investigation until April 2021. That’s when the accounts of the Hrynkevych family group companies were released.

Former employees recall that around 2020, there was a significant change in Ihor Hrynkevych’s behavior. He was not a soft-spoken leader before, but since then he has become particularly difficult to deal with his frequently changing subordinates. At the same time, the number of fake directors has significantly decreased – Hrynkevych himself became the founder of his companies. Or he registered them with family members.

According to another former employee, either Ihor Hrynkevych’s wife Svitlana, or his daughter Olha, or his mother-in-law Iryna Fedak hardly ever appeared at the company’s office. Except when they needed to sign documents.

Svitlana Hrynkevych (photo from Facebook)

Svitlana Hrynkevych (photo from Facebook)

Hrynkevych’s mother-in-law, Iryna Fedak, is the owner or co-owner of four heat supply companies (“Boryslavteplo”, “JSC Zakhidenergo”, “Energo Development” and “Vetteplo”) and “MG Budindustriya”.

Vasyl Hunder, Hrynkevych’s friend, is the director of “Boryslavteplo LLC”. After her husband’s arrest in January 2024, Hrynkevych’s wife re-registered the “Kateryna” company, which owns the namesake motel near Lviv, in Vasyl Hunder’s name. He refused to speak to NGL.media.

In January of this year, Svitlana Hrynkevych also withdrew from the founders of “Maoris LLC”. This company planned to build a large-scale recreation complex on the territory of the Yasnyka quarry, 20 km from Lviv.

Until the summer of 2023, Svitlana Hrynkevych officially owned the “VT Development” company dealing in the supply of food for the army. We are talking about contracts worth UAH 1.7 billion, Censor.net wrote, but the contracts themselves are absent from Prozorro. Now the company’s ultimate beneficiary is Maksym Stankevych, another director from Hrynkevych’s orbit. Stankevych, who officially headed “West Building Group” in 2016-2017, is probably the son of the then accountant of “Lviv Construction Holding”.

We will not describe all the companies associated with Hrynkevych – this text is already packed with names. But we assume that his real business investments may be even more fascinating. For example, NGL.media found out that Ihor Hrynkevych planned and almost got control of the state-owned “Western Expert and Technical Center of the State Labor Service”. This is indeed a vital enterprise for his business, which issues various official examinations, such as design and estimate documentation for construction, labor protection or industrial safety.

In April 2023, Lviv-based “I.T. United LLC” bought the property complex of the “Western Expert and Technical Center of the State Labor Service” for UAH 45 million. The company is officially owned by Ihor Lapka and Ruslan Doktorovych, lawyers who earlier represented Hrynkevych’s business in courts. After that, Ihor Hrynkevych personally met with the staff of the expert center and introduced himself as the new owner.

In a conversation with NGL.media, Lapka and Doktorevych said that they did indeed plan to resell the company to Hrynkevych. Ihor Lapka also said that they even planned to renovate the building. So, they ordered construction materials from Hrynkevych’s companies and partially paid for them from the accounts of the “Western Expert and Technical Center of the State Labor Service” in the amount of more than UAH 2 million.

However, due to paperwork, the case was postponed until “after the holidays”. It was then that Hrynkevych started having big problems with the law, so the sale did not take place, they claim. On February 1 this year, the contract for the purchase of building materials was terminated, the purchased goods were returned, and the money paid will be reimbursed soon. According to Ihor Lapka, as of now, they have no effective contracts with Hrynkevych or his affiliated companies.

At the same time, it was the “Western Expert and Technical Center of the State Labor Service” that in the fall of 2023 examined the design and estimate documentation for construction in Novyi Kropyvnyk village. This contract was later awarded to the company of Ihor Hrynkevych’s son, Roman Hrynkevych. When analyzing this estimate, «Nashi Groshi» found, that the cost of some construction materials was overestimated by fifty percent.

Sonia Moroziuk’s boyfriend

Unlike other family members, Ihor Hrynkevych’s son, Roman, directly ran the business, one of his employees told NGL.media і The employee of Roman Hrynkevych agreed to speak to NGL.media on condition of anonymity. . The main company run by Hrynkevych Jr. was “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt”.

In 2021, this company caused a new wave of interest in the Hrynkevych family among journalists. We are talking about a tender for the construction of a military camp at the Shyrokyi Lan training ground in Mykolaiv region. As Nikcenter journalists found out, the management of the “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt” overestimated the cost of works at the training area. At the same time, part of the work was actually performed by another company, which was never paid.

Roman Hrynkevych was the head of the company back then, and he signed the documents. The company’s founder was Artem Hamotskyi from Zhytomyr, who had previous criminal convictions. In fact, even today Hamotskyi remains a defendant in two criminal cases – robbery and theft. But in 2022, he was mobilized to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the consideration of these cases was suspended. Today, Roman Hrynkevych is the sole owner of the company.

Roman Hrynkevych, previously put on the wanted list, after his detention in Odesa, January 22, 2024 (photo by SBI)

Roman Hrynkevych, previously put on the wanted list, after his detention in Odesa, January 22, 2024 (photo by SBI)

Together with his father, he is involved in a new, high-profile scandal involving the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine procurements.

But in fact, the first time the Hrynkevychs’ military contracts came to attention was not at the end of 2023, when the case gained national publicity, but a year and a half ago. In August 2022, investigators from the Main Investigation Department of the National Police obtained court warrants to search the companies associated with the family and the Hrynkevychs’ private residences. Even at that time, investigators suspected that “a group of people had created a scheme to fraudulently seize budget funds on a particularly large scale during the supply of goods for the military needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

According to the investigation, the companies involved in this scheme were “Perspektyva Misto Bud”, “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt”, “Trade Lines Retail”, and “Construction Company Sitigrad”. The money received from the Ministry of Defense was immediately transferred to the accounts of other companies or to the personal accounts of individuals “for the purpose of their further legalization and cashing out”.

For example, according to the case file, in 2022 “Perspektyva Misto Bud” entered into contracts with the Ministry of Defense for the supply of body armor, bulletproof helmets, and disposable tableware totaling over UAH 500 million.

On May 11, the Ministry of Defense transferred UAH 17.96 million for disposable tableware as an advance payment under the contracts, and on June 9, another UAH 490.17 million for body armor and bulletproof helmets.

The very next day after the principal amount was received, the money was transferred in two tranches (UAH 220 million and UAH 150 million) to other accounts to “avoid control over the budget funds received,” according to investigators.

Investigators also found that in just two months, “Perspektyva Misto Bud” transferred UAH 63.8 million to “Construction Company Sitigrad LLC” and UAH 78.88 million to “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt LLC”. In addition, the company provided “financial assistance” to several personal accounts, including the personal account of Roman Hrynkevych, director of “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt LLC”. “Perspektyva Misto Bud” paid another UAH 35.1 million to “Swiss Crono LLC” for a land plot.

“Later on, the enterprises controlled by the members of the criminal group і “Perspektyva Misto Bud LLC”, “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt LLC”, “Trade Lines Retail LLC”, “Construction Company Sitigrad LLC” transfer funds to the accounts of “risky” companies for the purpose of their further legalization and cashing out,” the court rulings say. “The funds received from illegal activities are legalized through the purchase of property in Ukraine and the European Union,” the investigators stated in another ruling.

To trace the money, investigators seized the companies’ property and accounts, but in late September, judge Serhii Vovk from Kyiv Pechersk District Court canceled the asset freeze.

“I come from our mutual friends”

Regulatory and law enforcement agencies developed new interest in Hrynkevych’s companies in the fall of 2023.

In October, the Accounting Chamber published a report stating that “Trade Lines Retail” had failed to supply і until 31 May 2023 inclusive military uniforms and gear worth UAH 585.4 million under seven contracts concluded in February 2023.

Similarly, “Construction Company Sitigrad” failed to deliver clothing worth UAH 493.5 million, and “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt” failed the UAH 425.1 million delivery. Both companies had five contracts each with the Ministry of Defense.

And in November, underwear sets, combat shirts, summer T-shirts and other items were seized at the Chaika customs post of the Kyiv Customs. They were transported by three MAN trucks pursuant to previously concluded contracts with the Ministry of Defense. The suppliers were the abovementioned “Trade Lines Retail”, “Sitigrad Construction Company”, and “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt”.

Judging from the court ruling, Ihor Hrynkevych somehow learned about the investigation and decided to pay a bribe of $500,000 to return the seized property. On December 23, he wrote to the deputy head of the Main Investigation Department of the State Bureau of Investigation: “Good afternoon. I come from our mutual friends. When can I call you?” The meeting to hand over the money took place on December 29. Hrynkevych was detained and held in custody, allowing him to be released on bail of more than UAH 429 million.

A few months ago, the State Bureau of Investigation opened a criminal investigation into fraudulent procurement of clothing and underwear for the Armed Forces. The Lviv businessman’s companies won 23 tenders of the Ministry of Defense for the supply of clothing to the military for a total of more than UAH 1.5 billion.

Following Ihor Hrynkevych’s detention, the SBI reported they also found that six contracts with the Defense Ministry had been completely failed. “The companies delivered goods to the warehouses of military units only in small quantities, but received state funds for full completion of their obligations under at least 7 contracts. Also, it was found that 8 contracts were executed with a delay of 3 to 5 months,” the SBI said.

In January of this year, Hrynkevych was served with a second charge. This this time it was not about unfulfilled contracts, but about low-quality goods – allegedly, the supply of low-quality clothing caused damage exceeding UAH 934 million.

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Not only Ihor Hrynkevych, but also his son and three other people were served with charges. For example, Volodymyr Tymkiv, director and owner of “Trade Lines Retail”, and Viktor Kuzminsky, director of the “Citigrad Construction Company”. However, when a preventive measure was being chosen for Roman Hrynkevych, he claimed that it wasn’t him who signed the documents, but the official representative of the “Construction Alliance Montazhproekt”, the company he heads, Oleksandr Sharovarskyi.

How many orders did the Hrynkevychs’ companies receive from the Defense Ministry? Only some of them are published on Prozorro. For example, only five agreements with “Trade Lines Retail” totaling UAH 1.9 billion are available, of which only UAH 57 million is for footwear, and the rest is for food. All food contracts were signed by Maksym Hrytsenko, acting director of the Defense Ministry’s resource support department.

Earlier, the media reported that in 2023, Hrynkevych’s companies received contracts worth UAH 1.5 billion from the Defense Ministry for the supply of summer clothing and underwear alone.

Answering NGL.media’s questions, the SBI responded that they were investigating the circumstances of both the non-fulfillment (improper fulfillment) of agreements with the Defense Ministry and the supply of goods of inadequate quality. Regarding the absence of charges against the Ministry of Defense officials in this case, the SBI claimed that “investigators are conducting procedural actions aimed at establishing the involvement of persons, including officials of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in the commission of the identified criminal offenses.”

Ihor and Roman Hrynkevych are currently being held in custody, so we couldn’t find out their point of view on the charges. NGL.media sent questions to them through one of their lawyers, but in more than two weeks we received no response.

This material was prepared with the financial support from National Endowment for Democracy. The publication contents is a sole responsibility of the editorial team and does not reflect the views of National Endowment for Democracy