Investigation of the political case “Artek”: who is Artem Degtiarov and why the initiators were never found
A criminal case 10 years ago can today shed light on whose hands political scandals were created in Ukraine, and who was behind it.
In October 2009, deputy Vadim Kolesnichenko (from the then faction of the Party of Regions) published information about the alleged rape of children in the Artek children’s camp, in which people’s deputies and camp workers were involved, starting the so-called “Artek case”. The stepfather of the children-victims, the editor-in-chief of the Artek magazine Dmitry Polyukhovich , the general director of the camp, the head physician, one priest and one deputy from the Yulia Tymoshenko’s party faction fell under the charges . The media also mentioned the possible involvement of several other deputies from other factions in the case. The case went on for more than two years and received high-profile publicity during the presidential election campaign. The defendants denied any involvement in the incident.
The end point in the case, which has shocked Ukraine for more than two years, was set in 2011, when the Central Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a decision to close the case due to lack of corpus delict.
This scandal affected not only the image of deputies and political parties such as Viktor Yushchenko’s party «Our Ukraine» and Yulia Tymoshenko’s party, but also the main candidate for the presidency – Yulia Tymoshenko. However, Dmitry Polyukhovich suffered the most from this case – the stepfather of the victims, whom the investigation accused of rape. After the case was closed, Polyukhovich wrote the book Corrupted by Power, in which he outlined all the events of the pedophile scandal and his conclusions. He is still trying through the courts to find the customers of the scandal and identify the real defendants, but the case is hindered from year to year.
Obviously, the Artek case had a clear Russian footprint and was aimed at supporting the pro-Russian candidate in the presidential elections in Ukraine in 2010 – Viktor Yanukovych, as well as at discrediting his opponent Yulia Tymoshenko. The second round of elections ended with the victory of Yanukovych with a score of 48.95%, probably also due to this scandal .
Subsequently, reports began to appear in the media that Boris Berezovsky was one of the customers of the scandal, which confirmed the information about the Russian order. However, who was the performer? The well-known lawyer Tatyana Montyan, who is currently considered a traitor to Ukraine and has long been in Russia, took up the defense of the victims. And the main information engine of the process, which organized press conferences and positioned itself not only as a lawyer and journalist, but also as a partner of the mother of the victims, was Artem Degtiarov.
Dmitry Polyukhovich in his book calls Artem Degtiarov the main executor of the political order, behind which stood Berezovsky. Degtiarov, according to the author, put constant pressure on the investigation and the accused, using his connections and money, and also threatened them. In an interview, Polyukhovich describes Degtiarov’s methods of work : “I am a representative of Berezovsky. I have money and connections … I will roll you into asphalt and no one, and nothing will help you!
Photo – Artem Degtiarov
Artem Degtiarov is a former Russian journalist who previously headed Novosti Ukrainy (then RIA Novosti in Ukraine) and had direct ties to Russia. It was after the scandal that he became the owner of a large fortune and overseas real estate. Degtiarov has registered several companies, including London-based AIR JUSTICE LTD, which specializes in blacklisting. On the website of this company with the commercial name Blacklist aero notes that its activity is to control unscrupulous companies that refuse to pay debts for airport fees, pay bills for ground handling, refueling and other related services.
According to available information, this company is just a cover for the usual extortion collection activity, as well as other fraudulent and illegal activity schemes, including conventional threats, targeted information attacks , moral pressure, blackmail, intimidation and physical harm against debtors and owners and top manager of other companies. Some of these methods may not be acceptable in Britain, but in Ukraine and a number of other countries Degtiarov is already known for his corresponding “reputation”. In fact, you can read about it “between the lines” and on the website of the Blacklist aero company.
This indicates that Artem Degtiarov, who has been actively engaged in collection activities in Ukraine and abroad for a long time, probably still has influential Russian curators and “defenders” in Ukrainian pro-government offices. After all, how else can one explain the impunity of such work? Perhaps he knows who was the customer, as well as other direct executors of the political case “Artek”.
However, interest in Degtiarov began to grow among the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. After all, it was in the conditions of military aggression that “old cases” were taken out to identify agents who had been working for Russia for a long time. Perhaps that is why, since the beginning of the war, Degtiarov has been in no hurry to return from London to Ukraine…