Saturday, February 12, 2011

President's boys like money..

Below is a summary from the third of series of brief interviews with Taras Chornovil on the 'Ostrov' website. [See my blog of 8th February for summary of the first of the series.]

Chornovil believes the president's elder son Oleksander Yanukovych is a very bright boy who knows how to make money and loves to count money - the methods he employs to do this though, verge on what is legal...but not beyond.

He alleges the business interests of "The Family" of President Yanukovych, in matters that are "beyond legal limits", are 'sorted out' by an old friend of the president from the 'bad old days' - the mysterious Yuriy Ivanyushchenko. a.k.a. Yura Yenakiyivskiy. These matters include major shipping container customs clearance scams. [Note - Complaints about these have been sent to the president by many businessmen, including some from ruling coalition partners. And some commentators allege Yuriy Ivanyushchenko also controls grain export flows on behalf of "The Family", who benefit hugely from the disproportionate granting of tightly limited export quotas. These quotas could cause losses of over $2Bn to country's agricultural sector.]

Although Chornovil claims Rinat Akhmetov is now positioned on the fringes of politics, the more-loosely tied Donetsk group, which also includes Kluyev and Azarov, will become more unified in order to counteract the challenge of the rapid financial growth and advance of "The Family", which may be "measured in billions" over the entire country.

Meanwhile, 'Ukrainska Pravda' exposes some dubious business involving Oleksander Yanukovych's younger brother [and parliamentary deputy], Viktor Viktorovych. Young Viktor has recently been seen driving a high-class Range Rover SUV - one that had been used previously by former president Yushchenko.

It turned out that the vehicle was one from the motor pool of the 'State Administration of Matters' [D.U.S.] - one of whose functions is to provide transport for prominent state officials.

The president's administration and the head of D.U.S. claim young Viktor was renting the vehicle; and the lad himself explained that he had been paying 200 hryven an hour for its use. From August to September he claims he had paid 8,000 hryven, and October to December 14,000 hryven - a small fraction of normal market rate for rental of this type of vehicle. He refused any paperwork backing up his claim to be photographed.

Further investigation by 'Ukrainska Pravda' revealed that throughout its years of existence of the D.U.S. they have never rented vehicles to anyone - this is just not their function. So it looks as if the whole "renting" story is most likely a banal attempt to conceal a misuse of official position.

Interestingly, the story has also been run by the normally pro-PoR 'Segodnya'.

Why can't Oleksandr Yanukovych, who recently bought himself a bank, get his younger brother a fancy motor for his birthday rather than allowing him to burden the state with the cost of this expensive 'boy's toy'?

p.s. the author of the above-mentioned U.P. article, Serhiy Leshchenko, who has written many investigative pieces about all of Ukraine's leaders, is the target of disgusting, thinly veiled death threat, as described today on the international "Reporters without Borders" blogsite. The person who is the source of these threats should not be allowed to enter any country where journalist's work is valued and respected.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The Family", who benefit hugely from the disproportionate granting of tightly limited export quotas.

just look at Mubarek, the President of Tunisia and Putin - all poor boys that amass huge fortunes in the billons - it seems a pathological greed. But they don't even seem to endanger their political power or position by their greed (30 years in power) - the people in these poor countries seem indifferent or maintain ignorance despite all the rumours. Compare Ukranian attitudes to the UK Parlimantery expenses scandal. Small change in comparison but what a fuss.