On September 11, 2023, the Security Service of Ukraine informed Sergiy Polishchuk about the suspicion of treason for attempting to deny the existence of Ukraine on the Russian propaganda show, where the TV-host Olga Skabeeva is. OSINT analysts from the Molfar agency learned the activities and public anti-Ukrainian statements of Polishchuk, which was helpful for the Security Service of Ukraine.
In this publication, Molfar analysed the Sergiy Polishchuks’ activities and public statements, which contributed to the spread of Russian propaganda.
Who is Sergiy Polishchuk?
Sergiy Polishchuk is an ex-Member of the Parliament of Ukraine from the political party Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc ("BYuT") in 2006-2007. And later — a non-party. From the beginning of his political career in 2006, he was inactive for eight years. During his time, he spoke more often and actually proposed just four legislative projects. All of them were withdrawn later.
Meanwhile, Polishchuk criticized Viktor Yushchenko as the President of Ukraine, spoke about intrigues in the “Nasha Ukraina” (“Our Ukraine”) party, and the ineffectiveness of the Ukrainian government in general.
And a year before the full-scale Russian invasion, Polishchuk discovered Russian propaganda, visiting Skabeeva's talk show.
After 2014, he withdrew from active politics, focusing on business. However, starting in 2021, he again became involved in the media space, repeatedly appearing on the show of Russian propagandist Olga Skabeeva. There, he convinced the television audience of the impossibility of Russia invading Ukraine and accused the USA of trying to “push Ukraine into a military conflict.”
From “BYuT” to the “Party of Regions”: what did Polishchuk do in Ukrainian politics?
Polishchuk was initially an active deputy of Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc — notably financing this political force. During this period, other deputies confirmed that Polishchuk became one of the investors of "BYuT." This was the reason for his rapid rise in the Verkhovna Rada.
In the summer of 2006, Polishchuk obtained a significant position in the committee responsible for the fuel-energy complex and nuclear safety, opening the opportunity to influence critical decisions in the country's energy sector.
In the parliamentary elections 2006, the "Party of Regions" received 32.14% of the votes and became the largest party in the Verkhovna Rada. The ratings of the "regionals" were increasing. Moreover, in early 2007, Ukraine was undergoing a political crisis. Polishchuk decided to switch from "BYuT" to the “regionals.”
The "anti-crisis coalition" also included representatives of the "Socialists Party" and the now-banned "Communist Party." Among many controversial politicians, there was Sergiy Polishchuk. From around June 2007, he began attending the "Party of Regions” (“PR”) meetings and assemblies." However, he did not confirm membership in the "PR," as he was not officially part of it.
The schemes with "Naftogaz" and a $100k loan
In October 2007, Polishchuk climbed another rung up his career ladder — assuming the position of Deputy Chairman of the Board of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine". He held this position until April 2014, when he was dismissed by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers. However, during this time, according to publications, Polishchuk might have been involved in the embezzlement of 61 million hryvnias. "BG Bank", 5% of which belongs to Polishchuk's wife, purchased domestic government bonds and resold them for 9,000 UAH. According to media and law enforcement investigations (1, 2, 3), during this period, this "BG Bank" was controlled by Sergiy Kurchenko and Artem Pshonka — a Member of Parliament from the "Party of Regions" and the son of the former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, known for his corruption in Ukraine.
In 2014, Sergiy Polishchuk received a loan with a limit of $101.4k from the same bank and used it. However, he subsequently defaulted on the loan, owing $82.3 thousand by January 2015, with the amount in hryvnias increasing to 1.3 million (1, 2).
In October 2015, the court fully satisfied the claim, but the decision was appealed to the appellate court. In January 2016, the court issued an execution order to recover the debt from Polishchuk. 2019 Polishchuk's property in the Volyn region was auctioned (1, 2, 3). The property in the Kyiv region was also prepared for sale (1, 2), but in March 2020, the Supreme Court suspended the decision (1, 2).
The juice manufacture and a football club in Slovakia. The other life of Polishchuk
Since 2014, Sergiy Polishchuk has been involved in juice production. He owns 20% of the Ternopil private enterprise "Advis-VV," which produces wine and fruit and vegetable juices. Although, as of 2023, the legal entity is in a state of cessation of activities.
In 2020, Polishchuk bought the football club FC Nitra in Slovakia — he is in the photo from the official meeting on this occasion, described as a meeting "between a Ukrainian investor and the city mayor." Publicly, Polishchuk did not say that it is his club, as the representative is the club president — Ukrainian businessman Andriy Kolesnik (FB). The coach is Ukrainian Anatoliy Demyanenko, a former football player and coach of Kyiv's "Dynamo." After acquiring the club, its budget increased by 500 thousand euros.
“The USA is doing everything to make Ukraine cease to exist” — how Sergiy Polishchuk promoted Russian narratives
The year 2021.
Polishchuk participated in 2 broadcasts of the channel "Russia." Both broadcasts were aired on November 23 and 24. The programs claimed that a Russian attack on Ukraine was impossible and that the USA was supposedly pushing Ukraine towards military aggression. This is typical Russian propaganda, which Ukrainians have heard foremost from the Russians. On the broadcast of November 23, Polishchuk emphasized this opinion, stressing that it is as if "the USA wants Ukraine to cease its existence." He also said that people read little now, so they believe in Ukrainian propaganda. In the same issue, Polishchuk noted that he had flown from Kyiv the day before. Probably, he planned to visit his daughter, who, by the way, was studying in Moscow at that time.
But even before Polishchuk began to support Russian propaganda openly, let's look more closely at some publications and his statements about the internal political order in Ukraine in 2006 and 2007.
Interview to e-news publication
Commentary by Sergiy Polishchuk about BYuT's readiness to form a democratic coalition, his emphasis on the unwillingness of "Our Ukraine" and Yushchenko personally to compromise. Instead, according to him, "BYuT" and the "socialists" are always accommodating.
"Otherwise, Ukraine is facing a way back to the future. Viktor Yushchenko bears personal responsibility for this. Because those negotiators who are constantly sent resolve nothing. Even Poroshenko, who joined the negotiations last, also resolves nothing. Everything is decided on Bankova, as in the times of Kuchma," — Sergiy Polishchuk, former MP of the Verkhovna Rada.
Interview to e-news publication
In an interview with Polishchuk, he emphasizes that Yushchenko's times have passed, and he has a "weak character," so everyone needs to unite around Yulia Tymoshenko.
"Because I believe it's time to stop proclaiming romantic things about the separation of business and power. Yes, business and power should be separated, but we don't need to take inadequate actions on this account. Historically, the majority of young people, who are somewhat significant, went into business. Because, in fact, they were left to their devices after the collapse of the Soviet Union," — Sergiy Polishchuk, former MP of the Verkhovna Rada.
Interview to "Forum" publication
He again talks about the "weakness of Yushchenko as a politician," assertions about "quarrels." He intrigues in "Our Ukraine," Tymoshenko's desire to take Yushchenko's place and that in the case of re-elections, the "orange ones" will not make it to the Verkhovna Rada.
"Just look at what has started again in the 'orange,' so-called democratic camp: the quarrels and intrigues have begun once more, and the formation of four blocs instead of one has started. So, they have again started with what they failed at in the previous elections. And this will go on forever. The 'orange ones' don't just lack agreement, they have personal, deep hostility towards each other," — Sergiy Polishchuk, former MP of the Verkhovna Rada.
As we see, Sergiy Polishchuk has chosen the path of loud criticism instead of constructive work. Obviously, his comments are aimed at demonstrating the "incapacity" of Ukraine as a state. But later, these domestic political discrepancies stopped interesting him. He almost disappeared from the public field, although he continued to engage in business. Polishchuk emerged with renewed anti-Ukrainian rhetoric that precisely corresponds to the Kremlin's guidelines. In 2021, he appeared on the show of propagandist Skabeeva.
Below, we provide examples of broadcasts where Polishchuk was present.
He emphasized on air that the USA is pushing Ukraine to participate in the war, "The USA wants Ukraine to cease its existence." He mentioned that "two Ukraines" exist: Ukraine of Vatutin and Bulgakov and Ukraine of Reznik and Yarosh. Furthermore, he added that, supposedly, there are no more objective TV channels left in Ukraine, except for "NASH" (*ed. — a channel owned by Yevheniy Murayev, a pro-Russian politician). Besides, he referenced his past in "Naftogaz" and spoke on the Russian TV channel about the catastrophe of energy and industry.
"I noticed with what a smile Ms. Kvien;* spoke at the start of the war. She was smiling because Ukrainian children from both sides would be dying. And the already semi-ruined infrastructure of my country will be ruined even more. The USA is doing everything for Ukraine to cease its existence. Ukrainians are not interested in the war, but such people have come to power. These people used deception with one rhetoric, but now the rhetoric is entirely different. They are controlled by puppeteers," — Sergiy Polishchuk, former MP of the Verkhovna Rada.
*Kristina Kvien — Acting Chief of Mission of the USA in Ukraine from January 2, 2020, to May 29, 2022. In this segment, Polishchuk refers to an interview Ms. Kvien gave to one of the Ukrainian TV channels.
The broadcast discussed a new IMF tranche, which will supposedly be embezzled by Ukrainian officials. He also talked about Ukraine's lack of arms for war; we cannot use Javelins due to technical limitations. Tensions rise before the meeting between Putin and Biden.
"The Ukrainian government has different tasks now. Analysing what's happening — recently, our president congratulated us on a major Ukrainian holiday. The day of receiving another IMF tranche. This 699 million tranche will be used to construct a trench around the border. We have several months while this trench is being built. Until this money is not mastered and stolen — Ukrainians will not escalate the conflict," — Sergiy Polishchuk, former MP of the Verkhovna Rada.
Polishchuk is a fan of Russian propaganda at social networks
Besides these statements, the former MP Polishchuk, from his Facebook page, is subscribed to 124 groups. 8 of them are likely part of a network of pro-Russian propaganda accounts.
What does Polishchuk read on social networks?
- SHARIY'S MISSON (in Ukrainian — Міссія Шарія),
- UKRAINE - AS IT IS,
- CPSU - Club of Political Satire and Jest (this name refers to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union),
- World Politics (in Russian — Мировая Политика),
- KIEV - PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE,
- RUSSIAN-SPEAKING BELOVED UKRAINE,
- Nostalgia for Soviet Football,
- The Great Patriotic War.
The group SHARIY'S MISSON is directly one of the groups of the pro-Kremlin blogger and politician Anatoliy Shariy, last updated in May 2022. Likely, there will be no more updates because Shariy is now under suspicion by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and is in hiding. Groups such as UKRAINE - AS IT IS, CPSU - Club of Political Satire and Jest, World Politics, KIEV - PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE, and RUSSIAN-SPEAKING BELOVED UKRAINE disseminate news with pro-Kremlin narratives about the desire of Ukrainians "to end the war as soon as possible and at any cost," about the "selectivity" of mobilization, rights to travel abroad for officials, the unknown whereabouts of President Zelensky, the intensification of the language issue, memes about Biden, repressions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate, etc.
Content in these groups is interspersed with memes and detached quotes, mimicking the activity of the entertainment public. In all these groups, the same trolls' actions are noticed, for example, Larisa Litvinchuk, who disseminates the mentioned news and links to the group Russian world of the Baltics. The group's Nostalgia for Soviet Football and The Great Patriotic War do not spread political content but play into pro-Kremlin nostalgia for the Soviet Union.
Profile of Sergiy Polishchuk: facts and context
Born on October 14, 1973, in Kyiv.
From 1990 to 1991, he was a student regulator of radio-electronic equipment at the Kyiv factory "Radioprylad."
From 1992 to 1996, he was a Kyiv State Economic University student.
In 1996, he worked for three months as an engineer in the investment department of the construction directorate of the Muzhiyiv State Gold and Polymetal Combine.
In 2008, the entity had its VAT certificate annulled due to failure to submit tax reports for a year. There is also a known inactive entity named "Soyuz VS," founded by Polishchuk and Andriy Sivokon in 2002 and liquidated in 2005. the main activity is "marketing research," and the primary activity is "market research."
Tetiana Polishchuk — the wife
From November 2003 to January 2005, Tetiana Polishchuk worked as a specialist in advertising and marketing for "Soyuz VS". From February 2005 to October 2006, she was registered as an entrepreneur, and the primary type of activity was "market research and public opinion polling". From February 2005 to June 2006, she was also the director of KAS and owned 50% of the company at the time of its liquidation.
In the 5th convocation of the Verkhovna Rada, she was an assistant to the People's Deputy from "BYuT" Oleg Nadоsha, who later joined the "anti-crisis coalition." It was Oleg Nadosha who received the application form to join the coalition from, at that time, a deputy from the "Party of Regions" Volodymyr Sivkovich, and passed it to Polishchuk and Kovtunenko, as reported by Ukrayinska Pravda. From March 2011, she was the chairwoman of the supervisory board of "BG Bank," and at that time owned 5% there. "BG Bank" was later renamed to "Bank Pershyi".
In April-May 2022, Tetiana was tagged 23 times by Kyiv volunteer Aliona Dubova, expressing gratitude for helping shelters evacuate animals. According to the posts (1, 2) in April 2022, Tetiana personally assisted in distributing food for animals and people in the Kyiv region. In the photos and videos, Tetiana is likely also present.
Sergiy has a daughter — Sofiya. In 2020, she enrolled in the Humanitarian-Social Institute in the Moscow region (1, 2, 3) for correspondence studies, specializing in "State and Municipal Management". Her phone is listed as "Ukraine Student July 16, 2020" (origianal — Украина Студентка 16 Июля 2020”). She started her studies in December 2020 by a contract.
Sergiy Polishchuk also has a son, Viktor, who was born in 2005.
Sergiy Polishchuk is a violator of political ethics and a threat to the national security of Ukraine
Polishchuk exemplifies how political activity should not be conducted. His cooperation with the "Party of Regions," especially when Yanukovych came to power, is significant. His blatant support for Russian propaganda threatens Ukraine's national security.
Such actions undermine trust in state institutions and democracy itself. They are illustrative of why it is crucial to legally punish the activities of politicians who violate the interests of the state. People who actively aid hostile propaganda must be held accountable for their actions.
On September 11, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) declared suspicion against Sergiy Polishchuk. He is accused of state treason and incitement of national hostility. Analysts from the Molfar agency assisted the SBU in collecting evidence of state treason against this former Ukrainian politician. He is likely currently in hiding abroad.