The Ukrainian State Security Service (SBU) and the Anti-Corruption Agency (NABU) searched the apartments of Mukachevo (Munkács) Mayor Andriy Baloha and Mukachevo District Council Chairman Mihaylo Lanyo on suspicion of corruption on a significant scale.
According to reports from Ukrainian news agencies, national and Transcarpathian news portals, SBU and NABU this morning conducted joint searches of several senior Transcarpathian officials and a number of companies in connection with the alleged sale of three hectares of communal land around the Avangard Stadium in Mukachevo. There are suspicions that
Baloha abused his official powers to help the local municipality auction off the land in the city center for a fraction of its actual value.
The winning bid was won by a company owned by Mihaylo Lanyo, the chairman of the district council. According to the SBU source, the damage to the city’s budget could amount to UAH 100 million (EUR 2.6 million).
Photo: Security Service of Ukraine Facebook
Recently, the Baloha-led city administration has taken several measures that harm the interests of the Hungarian community: a year ago, it removed the Turul bird statue, the city’s (Hungarian) landmark, from Mukachevo Castle, and in January of this year, it dismissed several heads of Hungarian institutions in Mukachevo district and banned the display of Hungarian symbols in public facilities. Despite protests from teachers, the city government appointed a person who does not speak Hungarian to head the Hungarian-language high school in the city after her predecessor, István Schink, was unlawfully dismissed.
The Turul bird in the castle was replaced with the state symbol of Ukraine, after the decision of the then Baloga lead Mukachevo city council. Photo: Twitter
The notorious Baloha clan, involved in dubious business dealings, has considerable influence in Transcarpathia.
The anti-Hungarian vendetta was launched after the Hungarians refused to cooperate with MP Viktor Baloha, the oligarch father of Andriy Baloha.
In September, there had already been official proceedings in the Mukachevo Municipal Council to examine the work of the education and health departments. Recently, a new majority was formed in the Transcarpathian Regional Council and a new chairman was elected. All factions except, the Baloha Party, have joined the new majority around the ruling Servants of the People Party, the political movement of current President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Via MTI and Kárpáti Igaz Szó Contributed image: Security Service of Ukraine Facebook.