The Main Military Prosecutor's office of Ukraine opened a criminal case in connection with the export and sale abroad of coal mined in the separatist-held territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the press secretary of the Prosecutor General Office, Larisa Sargan wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday.
"A number of websites posted materials from which it becomes clear that under the general guidance of [businessman Sergei] Kurchenko, in 2017, government officials and other employees of a number of business entities have been purchasing on the separatist-held territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions illegally mined coal, namely anthracite, from mines illegally seized by the separatist DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic)," Sargan said.
According to Sargan, this coal is exported to the Russian Federation, where it is later sold to other countries. "Particularly large sums received in this way are transferred to the terrorists who later use them in their terrorist activities. Therefore, the actions of Kurchenko, government officials and other employees of a number of economic entities fall under a criminal offense in accordance with Part 3 Article 258-5 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine [which is the financing of terrorism]," the press secretary explained.
Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Ihor Nasalyk earlier announced the initiation of a ban on the import of coal from Russia, which is used to generate electricity. He said that Russia allegedly can resell coal from the Donbas to Kyiv, for a profit.