Journalists and volunteers have begun pouring over documents left behind at the former Ukrainian president’s residence.
Papers were found in the artificial lake at the home of Viktor Yanukovych in Mezhyhirya. Others were found partially burnt.
So far the journalists have uncovered evidence of millions spent on construction, furniture and even animals.
Lesya Ivanova, one of the journalists on the team said:
“Some documents were collected from the surface of the water, others were retrieved by the divers. Those over there were brought up from the lake bed, stuck in a sandy part and we had to unfold and dry them immediately, to preserve the information”.
The team is placing the papers in the public domain by scanning and uploading the papers onto a live, purpose-built website called “Yanukovychleaks.org”.
Journalist Oleksandr Akymenko said:
“These documents are very valuable. They could help prove corruption schemes used by Viktor Yanukovych personally, his team and his inner circle.”
There are also claims of “dossiers” on activists, political opposition figures and journalists, with profiles including names, photos, birth dates and even car registrations.
Tatiana Chornovol, a journalist who wrote an article about Yanukovych’s estate was followed and attacked in her car last year.
The police put her injuries down to domestic violence.