I express my condolences to the family of Dmytro Razumkov, a Head of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, over an unfortunate accident that happened to Dmytro Oleksandrovych’s loyal companion and ally in fighting for currency, a famous Mykolaiv resident Mykhailo Mykolaiovych Tytov aka Multyk (“cartoon” in Ukrainian). On April 6, 2020, an attempt on Tytov’s life took place in Mykolaiv near Techno-Kontrakt business center, where Multyk’s headquarters are located. A sniper shot Mykhailo Mykolaiovych in the head from a Saiga rifle. Nevertheless, thanks goodness, a bullet never found a brain in Tytov’s head, which is how an informal owner of Mykolaiv region survived after losing much blood.
Mykhailo Tytov, 47, began his path to high politics in early 1990s as a member of Viktor Cherednyk’s gang (aka Tazyk, a “bowl” in Ukrainian) and used to collect the tribute from sellers in Mykolaiv markets as a racketeer. By the way, then, at the market, he met his colleague Vadym Merikov, a future Ukrainian MP and a Head of the Mykolaiv Region State Administration, who used to do the same.
In 1996, Tytov was sentenced to 5.5 years of imprisonment for extortion, and before long he was also found guilty for murdering two fellowmen and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment (subsequently, a court of cassation reduced the sentence to 11 years). Sources in law enforcement say that the murder also involved Tytov’s best friend Gurgen Oroniuk aka Guryk, but Multyk took all the blame, and Guryk thanked Multyk not only by providing him with lawyers and supplying while behind the bars, but also by buying a president Kuchma’s pardon decree of 2002 for his friend.
After Multyk was prematurely released from jail, he returned to Mykolaiv, where he joined Guryk in leading the former Tazyk’s gang and turned into an entrepreneur and a de facto owner of the region. It was then when Multyk grew close to Mykolaiv Mayor Volodymyr Dmytrovych Chaika, first elected in 2000. In a couple of years, they both became representatives of a successful manager Viktor Yanukovych—Chaika representing Viktor Fedorovych officially and Multyk unofficially. Besides, it is due to such close connections to a crime lord that, in January of 2008, Mykolaiv Mayor discovered covert surveillance equipment in his office, planted there by a local Office on Combating Organized Crime.
After Yanukovych assumed office, Mykhailo Tytov, who was a confidant of a president with two clean criminal records and in addition represented Artem Pshonka, a then Prosecutor General’s son, in the region, was announced an uncrowned king of Mykolaiv and Kherson regions and de facto ruled this part of Ukraine with Mykola Kruglov, a Head of the Mykolaiv Region State Administration, running errands for him. In 2012, Multyk, under the protection of Pshonka Jr., started mass grabbing of agricultural land, to which end Partner-agro LLC was established run by Oksana Valeshynska, a lawyer, and de facto owned by Multyk’s confidants, Yuriy Marchenko, a Head of the Office in the Prosecutor of Mykolaiv Region’s Office, and his father Mykola Marchenko, a retired police Major General (both of them together with Valeshynska were put in the dock as early as in 2017 by the Office of Special Investigations of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine).
So it’s not surprising that Multyk, Guryk, and the former governor Kruglov assisted Yanukovych with moving hard-earned possessions out of Mezhyhirya. Here’s what an undercover witness told detectives:
“Regarding activities of the criminal organization of the former President of Ukraine Yanukovych, V.F., I can report as follows.
“I witnessed how certain residents of Mykolaiv Region arranged escape of Yanukovych, V.F., and transportation of illegally acquired money from Ukraine to the Russian Federation in cash.
“In particular, to my knowledge, in early February of 2014, the former President of Ukraine Yanukovych, V.F., ordered Kruglov, M.P., a former Head of the Mykolaiv Region State Administration (then a Ukrainian MP), to arrange allocation of trucks for transporting cash abroad.
“In his own turn, either from February 11 to 14 or from February 17 to 19 (I can’t recall the exact date), Mykola Petrovych Kruglov called his confidant Gurgen Oroniuk on his cell phone and ordered to urgently send several trucks to Kyiv to move out some load from Mezhyhirya. Here’s his quote word for word: “I need two roofed trucks to move Fedorovych’s load out of Mezhyhirya.”
“Gurgen Oroniuk was a crime lord until March of 2013, was known as Guryk and was an associate of Mykhailo Tytov aka Multyk.
“In his own turn, Gurgen Oroniuk told Kruglov, M.V., that he would assign the job to his associates—organizers of smuggling schemes in Mykolaiv Region. He immediately called Mateos Arshakovych Kastanian, born on 1/5/1968 and living in Bashtanka District of Mykolaiv Region, who is catering to the shadow business of a former Mykolaiv Mayor Volodymyr Rybachenko and his son, including smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol being sold in Bashtanka District and in Mykolaiv. In particular, above mentioned people organized smuggling of cigarettes from the Russian Federation. One part of the cigarettes was sold in Mykolaiv Region, and another one flowed onward to Europe.
“Moreover, Kastanian, M.A., caters to Volodymyr Rybachenko’s business related to lobbying local government’s tenders for various jobs with the intent of embezzling public funds. In particular, I know of a case of embezzling money while performing a road maintenance contract in Bashtanka and Bashtanka District of Mykolaiv Region in 2015. In 2017, they embezzled money while collecting waste in the same territory via controlled companies.
“As events unfolded, Gurgen Oroniuk immediately called Kastanian, M.A., and relayed to him Kruglov, M.P.’s instruction to immediately allocate two roofed trucks for moving load out of Mezhyhirya and added: “there’s no time to contemplate; bring along guys who will keep their mouths shut.”
“If I remember correctly, Kastanian, M.A., told that one of his drivers was sick. Gurgen Oroniuk replied: “I don’t care; get behind the wheel yourself if you must, but no one should know about this.”
“From Gurgen Oroniuk’s words, I know that Kastanian, M.A., subsequently carried out his instruction and moved some valuable load of Yanukovych, V.F., from Mezhyhirya to Kharkiv Region.
“I don’t know what happened next to this load. In two or three weeks after these events, on March 3, 2014, Gurgen Oroniuk shot himself in a restroom at a restaurant in Mykolaiv under unknown circumstances. I knew Gurgen Oroniuk well and I believe that he would have never committed suicide, because he’d been to many difficult situations, he ruled the region as a crime lord. I believe he was murdered, and that it was then made to look like a suicide. I’m not aware if this is related to moving out Yanukovych, V.F.’s load. Though, Gurgen Oroniuk was in no emergency at that time. I can also report that there are rumors around Mykolaiv Region that Mykhailo Tytov might have organized Gurgen Oroniuk’s murder.”
It is also not surprising that Multyk and Guryk were the ones to organize Antimaidan in Mykolaiv during protests in January and February of 2014, and then tried to organize a “Nikolayev People’s Republic.” But in March of 2014, something unexpected happened—Guryk was found dead of a gunshot in a restroom. Reporters immediately spread rumors that Russian criminals, who gave Guryk and Multyk money for creating the “Nikolayev People’s Republic,” made him commit suicide. Others said that Gurgen Oroniuk passed away because he knew too much about leading local authorities and their connections to Multyk. But in law enforcement circles, a theory of the crime was prevailing that the cause of Guryk’s premature death was his attempt to bring a market in Khmelnytskyi under control. For such audacity and encroachments on canonical territories of others, Oroniuk allegedly was summoned to Kyiv, and crime lords put a clock on his life.
By the way, while searching Guryk’s office, detectives found and seized 47 fake stamps of various enterprises, but Mykola Romanchuk, a then Head of the Mykolaiv Region State Administration, ordered to stop investigating both circumstances of Guryk’s death and details of his criminal financial activities. Soon enough Romanchuk was moved to a position of a First Deputy Head of the Mykolaiv RSA, and Vadym Merikov, who dabbled in the markets in early 1990s, became a region’s ruler. However, on June 3, 2016 Romanchuk was caught accepting a $90 thsd bribe, and search in this home revealed safes stacked with gold bars, briefcases with cash, and quite a few pieces of jewelry…
After Guryk died, Multyk acquired a new closest ally, Oleksiy Pelipas, 50, an entrepreneur who also began his creative career in Tazyk’s gang. That’s why when the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine tried to defeat Multyk’s gang in August of 2017, Tytov and Pelipas were arrested together.
Anyway, this Pelipas was a member of the Mykolaiv municipal executive committee and a henchman to the Mykolaiv Mayor Chaika until the death of the latter in March of 2013. Moreover, Pelipas is not only a business partner of Chaika’s son Vladyslav, but also his brother-in-law—Vladyslav Chaika and Oleksiy Pelipas are married to sisters. And Vladyslav Chaika’s sister, i.e. a daughter of the former Mykolaiv Mayor, is Dmytro Razumkov’s wife.
This is why not a single visit of the Head of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to Mykolaiv goes without negotiations between Dmytro Razumkov, Vladyslav Chaika, and Multyk’s confidant Oleksiy Pelipas. However, according to our sources, in the most complicated cases, negotiators are joined by Mykhailo Tytov himself. For instance, this was the case when the high parties discussed specifics of Vladyslav Chaika’s future run for Mykolaiv Mayor as a candidate of the “Servant of the People” party. Tytov personally guaranteed Razumkov his financial support.
Naturally, after electing Dmytro Razumkov the Head of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, a bad streak in Multyk’s life is over together with numerous criminal proceedings and other problems. In particular, Taras Dunas, a Prosecutor of Mykolaiv Region, concurrently (!) appointed a head of the so called department four at the Prosecutor General’s Office, i.e. the Department of Organization and Procedural Guidance of the Pre-Trial Investigations of Police and Fiscal Service and of Criminal Proceedings Involving Organized Crime, was selected responsible for catering to Multyk. Moreover, to resolve his problems, Multyk was assigned a personal Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Trepak, known for financial promiscuity, who doesn’t care whose money to take and in exchange for what. For instance, thanks to Dunas and Trepak, the Prosecutor General’s Office employed Yuriy Oleksandrovych Tytarenko, a lawyer from Multyk’s gang, as a prosecutor. As for Valeshynska and the Marchenkos, father and son, who are currently being tried for land grabbing, Trepak not only ordered subordinate prosecutors to blow up the case in court, but also, together with Dunas, made policemen to chaperone Valeshynska to the fields where she (still as an accused!) is already picking new targets for hostile takeovers.
By the way, people are already gossiping in Mykolaiv that it could be the retired police Major General Mykola Marchenko who hired a killer for Multyk. The thing is, in early 2020, Tytov forced Marchenko Jr. on his knees and demanded either to return the money Multyk gave in 2012 for grabbing 1500 ha of land in Pervomaisk District of Mykolaiv Region, or to return the land itself. Now, there is a clock on Marchenkos’ lives, and whereas in November of 2019, they threw a grenade into the yard of a head of security of an agricultural enterprise whose land they are trying to grab, now, after their patron Trepak has been fired from the prosecutor’s office, they might as well have hired a killer for Multyk.
Well, in any case, a serious injury suffered by Mykhailo Tytov is a huge blow at the family of the Head of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which has not only friendly but family ties to Multyk’s gang. I hope that Mykhailo Mykolaiovych gets better soon and will carry on fervently serving the people of Ukraine together with Dmytro Oleksandrovych, exactly as they have been doing all along.