Lenta.ru reports that Ukrainian journalist Sergei Leshchenko has posted on his Facebook page an audio recording in which a man sounding like Igor Kolomoisky, allegedly threatened the head of “Naftogaz” Andrew Kobolev to send volunteer battalions in Kiev and take over the office of “Ukrtransgaz” and the Kremenchug Thermal Power Plant.
Meanwhile the Head of the Ukrainian Security Service called fоr “cleaning up” the Dnepropetrovsk region following the death of an officer from his agency.
The recording features Kolomoisky reminding Kobolev that “Naftogaz” is going to disable the thermal power plant in Kremenchug (Poltava region). The head of the gas company confirms that this can be done for non-payment.
“We will not pay with a gun to our temple you hear me? If you move the valve, give the command, we will take over this plant, and the case is over. And if you *** (“show off”), we’ll grab your “Tsentrogaz”, or as it’s called – “Transgas” (apparently meaning “Ukrtransgaz”) – in Kiev. We can transfer people to Kiev from the ATO area,” the man sounding like Kolomoisky says.
On March 24, President Poroshenko signed a decree on the resignation of Kolomoisky as governor of Dnepropetrovsk region. In addition, the President signed amendments to the law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada “On Joint Stock Companies”, which provide for the reduction of quorum requirements. With the this document taking effect Kolomoisky largely loses control over key enterprises of the Ukrainian energy sector.
Kolomoisky’s “resignation” was preceded by a series of scandals. On March 22 at the entrance to the office of “Ukrnafta“, co-owned by his “Privat” group, security was put up around the building and they started building a fence. Later, the businessman came to the building and stated that he protects it from raiders.
On March 19 the oligarch arrived at the office of “Ukrtransnafta” to support the dismissed chairman Alexander Lazorko, whom the media called a man of Kolomoisky.
Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) head Valentin Nalivaychenko called for urgent action to “clean up” the Dnepropetrovsk region power structures, following the murder of an SBU agent in Volnovakha, a frontline town in Donbass. He was supposedly killed by a gang from a Kolomoisky-related “volunteer unit” which runs the smuggling routes between the separatist-held areas and the ones controlled by Kiev.
Nalivaychenko, considered one of the men the US relies on heavily in Ukraine, announced that 11 suspects had been arrested in the case.
Andrey Denisenko, an MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko party confirmed that his assistant Denis Gordeev had killed the SBU agent.