In a splashy press conference, the office of the prosecutor general announced a massive crackdown on corruption in the energy industry. Attributing the effort to a request from President Leonid Kuchma, who is expected to stand for re-election in October, the deputy prosecutor general claimed to have opened 360 criminal cases against industry officials and managers and to have secured the return of 167 million hryvnyas (US$42 million) in stolen funds. President Kuchma fired a first deputy prime minister, the minister of energy and two of his deputies, the chairman of the regulatory commission for the sector and a number of lower officials. The allegations of fraud and embezzlement could lead to the revocation of some earlier privatizations.