Tag Archives: Oligarch

Ukraine | Ukraine: Zelenskiy elected president as power shifts within the oligarchy

by Peter Mikhailenko

The disastrous presidency of Petro Poroshenko has resulted in him losing the presidential election to comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, by 73 percent to 24 percent. The almost-50 percent margin of victory was the most-lopsided second round in Ukrainian history. The only Ukrainian province where Poroshenko won was the nationalist bastion of Lviv.

Russia | Putin’s Tea Ceremony for the Oligarchs Turns Toxic

by John Helmer

In the US war for regime change in Russia, the Christmas dinner for the oligarchs was President Vladimir Putin’s idea in 2014 for demonstrating that he was in command of their loyalty for a price  the oligarchs were afraid to test.

Late last month, the dinner was turned into an afternoon tea ceremony in which the oligarchs confirmed for Putin the price he must pay if he isn’t to lose them to the other side. Mikhail Fridman and his Alfa Bank, Vimpelcom and X5 supermarket group demonstrated which side they believe to be strongest in this war by not attending. Their absence shows they calculate the risk of Kremlin sanctions for their business is now zero.

Russia | Andrei Kostin of VTB doesn’t believe Russians are running away like “cockroaches through the floorboards”

By John Helmer

Andrei Kostin, 61, the head of the state-owned VTB Bank, has enjoyed a long career as a state official and state banker.  His reputation among his international banking peers does not highlight expertise in treasury operations  or investment ingenuity. Rather, Kostin is reputed for being the trusted executor of his shareholders’ instructions, deliberative, loyal, cheerful.

Ukraine | Ukraine’s Top Bank Lent Owner’s Lieutenants $1 Billion Before Nationalization

by Graham Stack

Between mid-2015 and mid-2016, Privatbank, the largest bank in Ukraine, handed out over US$ 1 billion in loans to firms owned by seven top managers and two subordinates of its owner at the time, Ihor Kolomoisky, according to a copy of its 2016 loan book reviewed by a reporter for OCCRP. Subsequently, in December 2016, the bank was nationalized after the government found that it was severely undercapitalized, threatening the country’s financial system.

Ukraine | EU assistance to Ukraine: results so far are “fragile”, say Auditors

EU assistance to Ukraine had limited impact and, despite the impetus for reform since then, the results achieved so far remain fragile, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. Over most of the period audited, the unstable political, legislative and administrative context limited the effectiveness of EU assistance, say the auditors.