Dozens of Ukrainian journalists are scrambling to preserve thousands of documents discovered dumped in a river that runs next to former President Viktor Yanukovych's palatial estate, in hopes of finding evidence of wrongdoing by the ousted leader.
"This means that we have the original proofs, proven facts that can reveal the truth. Reveal the corrupt system or misuse or fraud and money laundering and other stuff," Oleg Khomenok, an Ukrainian investigative journalist, told CNBC on Tuesday. Khomenok coordinates Scoop, an organization that supports journalists in Eastern Europe, Russia and elsewhere.
The former president, Viktor Yanukovych, was impeached last weekend and fled the capital of Kiev. It's widely believed that his administration was rife with fraud.
Divers discovered more than 100 three-ring binders filled with documents that had apparently been dumped in a river running alongside his now abandoned mansion.
Ukrainian journalists investigate dumped documentsFeb. 25, 201403:03
In a massive, volunteer effort, journalists have carefully separated the stuck-together pages and begun drying them. After initially using huge heat fans donated by the national library, volunteers discovered a more efficient tool for the job: the heated floors in the guest house sauna. They're photographing documents and posting them at yanukovychleaks.org.
Khomenok claimed that volunteers already have uncovered documents that indicate evidence of large cash payments and possible wrongdoing.