Halya Coynash, in her 'KyivPost piece', "Yanukovych's poor choice in Lviv", is critical of: "The president’s latest appointment [of Oleh Salo] as Lviv regional governor [which] has elicited outrage in the region.." [Also here ]
Coynash is being charitable. Others are more blunt and to the point - the man has a dreadful track record going back many years that is as long as your arm. Salo is a black character indeed.
Typically, on being appointed head of the Lviv oblast Ministry of Internal Affairs Administration he had diamonds stitched into the stars on his new general's uniform and drove around in a special custom-built $100k Volkswagen limo with an interior lined with fancy veneers, bar, television etc.
Halya Coynash states: "..in 2003 the parliamentary committee on fighting organized crime and corruption asked Viktor Yanukovych, then Prime Minister, to dismiss Oleh Salo for abuse of official position."
The parliamentary committee report actually ran to 11 closely typewritten pages.
Salo and an associate where accused of involvement in the alleged re-registering a Mercedes whose owner had been murdered three days previously. The prime suspect, who has never been caught, was also involved in the murderous scheme to re-register the vehicle.
In 2000, dozens of vehicles on which customs duty had not been paid were registered by Salo and his associates.
That same year, Salo illegally registered a stolen Mercedes 380...in 2001 he was involved in the purchase of vehicles on which customs duty had not been paid, i.e. smuggled from abroad, for the use of ministry of the interior personnel in Lviv oblast.
Salo worked with criminal gangs by providing them with passes to help them bring stolen vehicles into the country.
In 2002 he falsified documents from the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs to elevate his already lofty rank, and falsified merit awards 'bestowed' on his best mate.
In 2003 a group of parliamentary deputies requested the minister of internal affairs sack Salo for unauthorised possession of a cache of ammunition, and for numerous other alleged crimes, particularly at Western Ukrainian customs posts.
There is creditable evidence that he was involved in serious election fraud in Pervomaysk and theft of large quantities of ballot papers in 2004.
In 2005, during police searches conducted in the apartment of Salo and head of the Western region customs head, over $200,000 of cash, and weaponry were found. At the time they were being investigated for alleged involvement in the assassination attempt on a parliamentary deputy, Petro Pysarchuk.
The list goes on and on...
Salo is exactly the sort of guy Yanukovych trusts and likes to use because there is a ton of kompromat on him to guarantee his loyalty.
His appointment is a slap in the face of those who want to make Ukraine a more decent, European country. Under Yanukovych the country will continue to be a gangster state.
p.s. Anecdotal reports provided to your blogger confirm corruption and extortion at Ukraine's western border posts is as bad as it ever has been.