In 2022, Vitalii Nikushyn, a judge of the Kyiv-Svyatoshyn District Court of Kyiv Oblast, bought a 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 350 for UAH 10,000, and at the end of 2023, he bought a 2017 Renault Zoe for UAH 5,000. The judge included these cars in his declarations.

Slidstvo.Info journalists called Vitalii Nikushyn, a judge of the Kyiv-Svyatoshyn District Court of Kyiv Oblast, to find out how he managed to buy a French electric car (which costs $10,000 on the secondary market) and a Gelendwagen (the price starts at $60,000) for 15,000 hryvnias.

Speaking to journalists, Nikushyn noted that people who are selling not their first car do not want to pay tax, so they indicate a low price.

“In fact, they get a different amount on the receipt, so I indicate the amount that the seller dictates if I want to buy a car. If you want, you agree, if you don’t, you don’t,” the judge said.

The judge says that he understands the moral side and the actual tax avoidance during the war.

“I understand it all perfectly well, but I’m not the only one, you understand it perfectly well too. The issue here is that the seller did not want to pay 6 or 7% of the car sale, so he made an underestimate. The law allows this, doesn’t it?” explains Nikushyn. 

The judge also admitted that the real price of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 350 in imperfect condition was almost $30,000.

According to Nikushyn, he later sold the car in question and bought the same car, but with a more powerful engine — a 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 500.

Nikushyn noted that he declared the car at the real price of UAH 529,200, or just over $14,000. The judge explained this price by the fact that he had bought a burned-out car and had not yet restored it.

Another car, a 2017 Renault Zoe, which the judge bought and declared in 2023 for UAH 5,000, was purchased under a similar scheme.

“If people deal with cars and sell not their first car, they don’t want to indicate the real value because they don’t want to pay a large tax. There is an estimated value, which is indicated at the time of purchase. While, for example, the value of [real] estate cannot be underestimated, cars can be, and people are taking advantage of this,” said Judge Nikushyn.

Judge of the Kyiv-Svyatoshyn District Court of Kyiv Region Vitalii Nikushyn / Photo:

Finally, when asked by a journalist about paying the official 15,000 hryvnias, the judge admitted that all other funds paid for the cars were spent bypassing taxes.

In addition to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 500 and 2017 Renault Zoe purchased in 2023, Nikushyn bought a 1990 GAZ 2410 for UAH 35,000. The judge also owns a 2006 Honda CBR motorcycle purchased in 2017 and a 2012 Audi A5 purchased in 2021.

The judge lives in a 178-square-metre house in the village of Horenychi, near Kyiv. Nikushyn registered the house in his mother’s name. The judge has two non-residential premises: 57 sq m in Kyiv and 35 sq m in Irpin. He owns a 1-hectare land plot in Kyiv region, purchased in 2021 for almost UAH 208,000.

In 2023, Nikushyn received UAH 1,086,000 in judicial salary and almost UAH 100,000 in pension.

In 2011, the High Council of Justice submitted a petition to the President of Ukraine to dismiss Vitaliy Nikushyn for breach of oath. In 2019, the HCJ classified the judge’s work in one of the cases as “a clear violation of the law, incompatible with the honest and conscientious performance of judicial duties, full, comprehensive and objective consideration of the court case”, which led to Nikushyn’s dismissal. On 26 December 2023, the judge was reinstated as a judge of the Kyiv-Svyatoshyn District Court of Kyiv Oblast.

Vitaliy Nikushyn’s father, Viktor Nikushyn, was also a judge in the Vinnytsia Oblast Court of Appeal and resigned in 2017. Now the man receives monthly payments from the state for life.

READ ALSO: The Family of Judge Boyarskyi, Suspected of Bribery, Acquired Property Worth Over Half a Million Dollars in 2023