On July 17, during a working visit to the Kharkiv region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting on combating illegal natural-resource economic activity in the region. Before the meeting, the Head of State inspected the areas of illegal logging and the development of a sand quarry near Kharkiv.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Goncharuk says the problem of illegal logging and destruction of forests is national. However, this problem is very acute in the Kharkiv region, since the forestry index here is 12%, which is less than the average in Ukraine. Also, the mass media wrote about illegal logging in the region. Therefore, the meeting is held here.
About the facts of illegal use of forest resources, the Director of the State Enterprise "Zhovtneve forestry" Ruslan Chagarovskyy has reported to the President and the participants in the event. He also said about pressure on him and his family, which he associated with the audits initiated by him in the forest enterprise. In addition, Ruslan Chagarovskyy informed about illegal logging of the most expensive and most precious species with the further sale of timber abroad, which was organized by a group of people.
"I have all necessary documents. We have been appealing the law enforcement agencies since June 27. There is a reaction at the moment - they called from NABU yesterday", Ruslan Chagarovskyy said.
Ruslan Chagarovskyy stressed that his report concerns only the unauthorized logging in the State Enterprise "Zhovtneve forestry".
"We audited only 10% of the total area and found UAH 80 million losses. It is more than 8 thousand cubic meters of wood. According to our calculations, when we make a full revision of the forestry including State Enterprise "Zhovtneve forestry", then approximately this will be about UAH 200 million", - he emphasized. The Head of the forestry also added that, according to his preliminary estimates, the amount of losses could reach a billion hryvnia in the region.
According to Ruslan Chagarovskyy, illegal logging is controlled by Director of the "Gutian forestry" Viktor Sis in the Kharkiv region."At the moment, he is the largest "black logger" in the Kharkiv region ... I have the opportunity to bring order with the advent of the new government," he said.
The President called Viktor Sis during a meeting, who is on a business trip in Kyiv today, according to one of the employees of the forestry.
"Mr. Sis? We are waiting for you. Are you in Kyiv? Please, come tomorrow at the Office of the President at 10:00," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
In addition, it was mentioned that the lack of environmental inspection in the forestry sector is taking place.
The Head of State called on local leaders of law enforcement to pay attention to the problem of illegal logging and surnames which were called by Ruslan Chagarovskyy. "Such as: Sis, Sanin, Antypenko. I ask you to pay special attention to this issue. You need to sit at one table, find out and stop the illegal logging in the Kharkiv region. If you can not do this, then other people will appear in your places", the Head of State emphasized. He also entrusted to guarantee the security of Ruslan Chagarovskyy.
"You all know the surnames and it's not just foresters, directors. You know that there are people in the state who are involved with the dumping of this "business". Pay attention to it," Volodymyr Zelenskyy added.
For his part, Oleksiy Goncharuk emphasized that law enforcement agencies have enough tools to work effectively.
"Our today’s meeting should be a signal for well-informed people that it’s time to change the behavior model. This can’t go on," he concluded.