Collaborators-emigrants. How Ukrainian traitors escape from occupied Crimea and South to Europe and USA


The National Police of Ukraine started submitting data about collaborators, who escaped to European countries, to the database of Interpol.

The Center for Journalist Investigations decided to remind about known collaborators who fled from temporary occupied South and Crimea and report about those who have not yet been investigated by the National Police of Ukraine.

Head of investigative department of the National Police of Ukraine in Kharkiv region Sergii Bolvinov reported that Ukrainian law enforcement bodies attempted to reach 25 collaborators who escaped from Kharkiv region to EU countries.

«We launched cooperation with Interpol. It means that living of Ukrainian collaborators in Europe will not be easy and calm. We are the first in Ukraine to use cooperation with Interpol as an instrument to uncover collaborators who fled from the Ukrainian justice to European countries. Some collaborators fled to the Russian Federation after liberation of Kharkiv region from Russian occupants. But there are many cases when former «lovers» of the Russian Federation and the Russian Army fled to the European Union. They pretend in EU that they are Ukrainians who suffer from the war and need shelter. We decided to find them in Europe and bring to justice», as told Bolvinov in his Facebook account.

The Center for Journalist Investigations hopes that the initiative of Kharkiv policemen will be successful and will be supported by other Ukrainian law enforcement bodies. Below are reports about collaborators from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions who fled to the European Union.

Viktor Kucher has been an employee of Kakhovka inter-district department of water resources. During Russian occupation, he headed so-called Beryslav unit of «Irrigation systems» but escaped to Europe in autumn 2022.

Collaborator Viktor Kucher. Photo from social media

He has been already served with suspicion from Ukrainian law enforcement bodies. Ukrainian investigators found out that Viktor Kucher voluntary took position of «temporary administrator of Beryslav unit of «Irrigation systems» on August 4, 2022.

He registered the unit in accordance with Russian legislation and delivered the territory of Beryslav unit for repairing works of the Russian military equipment.

As Ukrainian investigators reported, Viktor Kucher threatened to kill the head of Beryslav exploitation unit and confiscated the car of the unit. Later Kucher gave two cars, excavator and trailer to unidentified representatives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. They took them away.

According to CJI’s data, Viktor Kucher escaped from Beryslav to European country before the liberation of the right bank of Kherson region from Russian occupants in September 2022.

Oksana Barnash has been among the most known teachers-collaborators of Kherson. Before the Russian occupation, she has been praised as the honored teacher of Ukraine and granted honorary certificate of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Under the Russian occupation, she has headed the Kherson specialized school # 30 with focus on mathematics and English language until August 15, 2022.

Collaborator Oksana Barnash, photo: screenshot of video of TV company «ЯТБ».

Ukrainian investigators found out that Oksana Barnash voluntary headed Russian «School # 30 of Kherson City», illegally created by Russian occupants on the basis of the school she managed before the Russian occupation. She recruited school personnel, placed Russian troops on the territory of the school and put Russian state symbols in the school. She brought children for so-called «relaxation» to occupied Crimea.

According to CJI’s sources, Oksana Barnash threatened to severely persecute teachers and parents who refused to work in «the Russian school» or to bring their children to the school. She helped Russian occupants to conduct their illegal referendum on the territory of school on September 23-27, 2022.

On the eve of the liberation of Kherson, Oksana Barnash escaped from Kherson. Now she is hiding in Spain.

In Berdyansk, collaborators Sergii Putrya and Gennadii Babayan seized Berdyansk meat factory and were directly involved into stealing the Ukrainian grain.

Collaborators Sergii Putrya and Gennadii Babayan, 22.12.2022. Photo: screenshot of video of TV company «Yug».

Gennadii Babayan is the head of the local Federation of wrestling. Sergii Putrya is the member of several convocations of the Berdyansk City Council. He is acting member of Zaporizhzhia Oblast Council from pro-Russian political party «Opposition Block». He received «wide powers» from collaborator Yevhen Balytsky, Russian «governor» of Zaporizhzhia region.

One video demonstrates joint lunch of Babayan, Putrya and their bodyguards with «Berdyansk supervisor» from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

At the beginning of 2023, Babayan fled to Estonia where his daughter with her family evacuated earlier. As Berdyansk residents report, Putrya often visits Estonia through Russia.

Estonia has been chosen by them because they re-registered stolen Berdyansk meat factory in this country.

On June 1, 2023, the Main Department of the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Kyiv and Kyiv region served the suspicion in absentia to Gennadii Babayan as the head of LLC «Berdyansk meat factory» of holding «SMK Group». The holding is owned by Denys Paramonov, the resident of Kharkiv.

As SBU reported, in order to preserve control over the factory after Russian occupation of Berdyansk, Paramanov empowered Volodymyr Masalov to re-register the factory for Estonian company «DJP Invest OU» in June 2022. Gennadii Babayan has been appointed as the formal head of this Tallinn based company. However, Paramonov is its single shareholder.

Later Gennadii Babayan registered LLC «Berdyansk meat factory» and «Berdyansk sausages» under Russian jurisdiction. These companies pay taxes to the Russian state.

Pavlo Yurchenko is another collaborator from Berdyansk. He has been local football player in the past. After the Russian occupation, he has collaborated with Russian occupants. They appointed him as the «main football coach» in the local sports school.

Future collaborator Pavlo Yurchenko (right) and Ukrainian football player Vladyslav Vaschuk. Photo: Facebook

Local telegram channels reported that Yurchenko informed Russian occupants about parents who refused to bring their children to the school.

In June 2022, he developed plans for the future with Oleksandr Saulenko, Russian «head» of Berdyansk. Now he resides in Germany.

«Head» of Berdyansk Oleksandr Saulenko, collaborator Pavlo Yurchenko and Hanna Khoroshun, assistant of Saulenko. Photo: screenshot of video.