Dmytro Firtash's donation of $2.5 Million to for the erection of a Holodomor Memorial in Washington D.C. has caused quite a stir.
Others commentators have discussed the appropriateness of this donation from such a questionable character.
I would like to direct readers to an excellent detailed journalistic investigation into Firtash and his gas business conducted by the authoritative, big-selling German 'Spiegel' magazine a couple of years ago [in English] entitled: "A Stockholm Conspiracy: The Underbelly of Ukrainian Gas Dealings"
The article concludes: "Viktor Yanukovich, the president of Ukraine, served the commercial interests of an oligarch [Dmytro Firtash] with whom he has close ties, at the expense of his own country. And, in doing so, he also did Moscow a favor....
Experts have calculated that the Ukrainian government [by not challenging Firtash's RosUkrEnergo in the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce] lost about $1 billion in this process of shifting 12.1 billion cubic meters of gas back and forth. Firtash, however, is raking in a huge profit at current prices. "
Yanukovych, Firtash, Boyko and the rest of the villains in this saga, have drained vast sums of money from the State of Ukraine's coffers, which the government could have spent for the benefit of its citizens.
How ironic - a monument to millions who perished in the Holodomor because their grain and food was stolen from them by the Soviet state, is now going to be erected by a man who many would say stole the money for this monument from the Holodomor victims' grandchildren.
p.s. When in Kyiv, Firtash is escorted by a team of bodyguards. His own vehicle, a swanky Merc.... has 'bent' and 'dirty' number plates.
The plates have an 'AA' prefix, indicating they has been assigned exclusively for the use of a parliamentary deputy, which Firtash is not.
As such, the driver of such a vehicle is absolutely 'untouchable' when it comes legal regulations on parking, and regulations concerning use of a vehicle on a public highway. [Is there any other civilised country where elected officials are granted such immunity from prosecution?]
Some people just cannot help it..
Update: Today's 'Ukrainska Pravda', in an investigative article, Tetyana Chornovol claims Firtash may have skimmed off over $2 Billion in various schemes over the years in what she calls the theft of the century..
Will $2.5 Million for a memorial in Washington and organising a few 'poncy' fashion shows and 'weirdo' art shows in London buy respectability? Hardly.
All this reminds me of a joke:
A character witness in a courtroom, when asked to describe a defendant's good ethical and moral qualities says: "He was a very, very good boy. Everything he ever stole he gave to his mother.."