Shreds of Accountability
Empty With A Whiff of Blood and Fumes
On February 22, 2014, two days after the flight of the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, a large cache of state documents was discovered floating in the pond inside his private residency in Mezhgorye. The recovered documents illustrated embezzlement practices of at least ten major Ukrainian corporations; all managed by the departed state officials, including Tantalit, the main entity behind a colossal money laundering scheme set up by the Yanukovych family. At the same time, employees of “Arena City,” a business center formerly owned by Sergei Kurchenko, famed Ukrainian oligarch with close ties to the Yanukovych family, attempted to dispose of forty-five large garbage bags of shredded documents. The contents of the documents varied from correspondences with high-ranking officials and transaction details to photographs of desired and purchased properties, services, and luxury items. Ukrainian activists and journalists concerted their efforts in salvaging all of the findings. While many of the collected shreds will remain unreadable, they serve as a historical and cultural testimony of both: individuals removed from power attempting to dispose of possible evidence, and citizens that just achieved power attempting to reclaim agency.