Who’s Down and Who’s Down – Politico

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KYIV – Russia’s war against Ukraine has created some unexpected victims: the country’s oligarchs.

Ukraine has been around for a long time It is considered One of the most corrupt countries on earth and dozens of businessmen who control a large percentage of its wealth, in addition to television stations, mines, banks, shops, farms, real estate and more major shareholders.

One of them – chocolate baron Petro Poroshenko – served as president from 2014 to 2019.

But the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine destroyed their fortunes. Rinat Akhmedov’s massive Mariupol metalworks have been reduced to smoking ruins, farmland stands idle and riddled with landmines, factories are idle because of power outages and seaborne exports dwindle.

The political influence of the wealthy also collapsed.

Even before the war, President Volodymyr Zelensky promoted the Oligarch Removal Law aimed at limiting their political influence.

The war reinforced this effort. Zelensky no longer needs the political and financial support of the oligarchs, and the incendiary experience of defending the country against Russian aggression is likely to make him less eager to defer to the wealthy. Cutting corruption and strengthening the rule of law is also a condition for much aid flowing into Ukraine.

Here’s a look at how the war with Russia changed the financial and political fortunes of five major Ukrainian businessmen.

Rinat Akhmedov

Rinat Akhmedov | Daniel Knopold/EPA

Ukraine’s richest man, Akhmedov is paying dearly for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The backbone of his business empire – the metals conglomerate Metinvest – has lost two of its main factories in southern Ukraine. The Azovstal and Ilyich Iron and Steel Works were reduced to piles of rubble by Russian forces during the offensive on Mariupol.

In June, it is Foot Lawsuit against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights.

Since the start of the war, his other assets—including power plants, banks, farms, mining, and processing plants—have been damaged or seized by Russian forces.

Ahmadov’s companies raised money and resources to aid the war effort, providing more than $100 million in body armor and helmets, fortification materials, and vehicles for the military, and food and medicine kits for civilians.

According to Ahmadov’s spokesperson, he returned to Ukraine the day before the Russian invasion.

“He met the beginning of the war at his home in Kyiv. Since then he has not left Ukraine for a single day,” the spokesman said.

according to According to the Ukrainian edition of Forbes, Akhmetov’s wealth has shrunk from about $14 billion in January to $4.3 billion in December, but he remains the richest person in Ukraine.

“Because unfortunately intensive military operations and missile attacks in Ukraine continue on an almost daily basis, an accurate and complete loss calculation cannot be made at this stage, and estimates may be incorrect and inconclusive,” the spokesperson said.

In 2021, Zelensky Accused His attempted coup d’état, a charge Akhmetov vehemently denied. Since the invasion, he’s turned in his media licenses (a tribute to Zelenskyy) and his full support for the war effort is earning him some support.

Oligarchy order:

Victor Pinchuk

Victor Pinchuk | Natalia Slepchuk/AFP via Getty Images

Since the start of the Russian invasion, Victor Pinchuk has actively urged Western countries to step up their military support and criticized some countries, such as Germany, for being slow.

By late September, the oligarch had spent more than $45 million supporting Ukraine’s military and civilians, according to his charitable foundation.

In the first weeks of the war, when Russian forces were closing in on Kyiv, medics were stationed at the luxurious Pinchuk Palace on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

The oligarch’s business empire – built around Interpipe, a manufacturer of railroad tubes and wheels – has suffered less than other oligarchs.

“The holding company’s financial situation has worsened, but you can’t say it’s a disaster,” said Alexander Barachi, head of research at Ukrainian consulting firm Concorde Capital.

“They were affected more not by hostilities than by high energy prices and problems with logistics,” he explained, as the war had reduced Interpipe’s ability to export by sea.

His fortune has fallen from $2.6 billion to $2 billion, according to Forbes.

Pinchuk’s media office did not respond to a request for comment.

Oligarchy order:

Petro Poroshenko

Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko | Pierre Krum/Getty Images

prewar, Poroshenko He was fighting for his political life, facing accusations High treason and incitement to terrorism. According to prosecutors, Poroshenko allegedly preferred coal supplies from rebel-held areas of the Donbass region rather than coal produced in South Africa.

Despite his protests of innocence, some of his assets and property were confiscated by the Kyiv court.

After the invasion, however, television stations controlled by Poroshenko toned down their criticism of Zelensky.

“On the first day of Russian aggression, February 24, I came to Zelensky and said: I am no longer the leader of the opposition. You and I are soldiers. Until our victory, I will not criticize anyone.” interview with VOA.

Poroshenko, who favored nationalist politics when he was president, wore military uniforms and organized groups of volunteers to help in the war — though Zelensky’s office accused him of unnecessary PR.

Poroshenko’s spokesman said Poroshenko’s companies have spent more than $46 million to support the armed forces. He has delivered armored vehicles purchased in Italy and Britain, four-wheel drive trucks, bulletproof vests, helmets, fuel and more.

Forbes says his fortune has fallen from $1.6 billion to $700 million.

Poroshenko’s media office declined to comment on the loss of his business and personal wealth due to the war.

Oligarchy order:

Ihor Kolomoisky

Ihor Kolomoisky | WikiCommons

Kolomoisky was seen as Zelensky’s main original backer – using his powerful TV stations to promote the popular actor and comedian during the 2019 presidential election.

However, close ties with the new leader did not save Kolomoisky from troubles.

In January, the US Department of Justice alleged Kolomoisky and his accomplice laundered money in the United States and his lawyers have refused any wrongdoing.

Ukrainian authorities seized his main financial asset, Privatbank, seven years ago after regulators discovered a $5 billion hole in his books, and Kolomoisky is still battling to get it back.

“Kolomoisky has very little chance of getting anything back through the court,” said Barachi of Concord Capital.

In July, Zelensky was reported to have taken steps to strip Kolomoisky of his Ukrainian citizenship because he also holds Israeli and Cypriot passports. Kolomoisky fights the decision.

In November, the Ukrainian government resorted to wartime laws to take control of stakes in the country’s leading energy company, Ukranafta, which is partly controlled by Kolomoiskyi.

Kolomoisky did not respond to a request for comment.

Oligarchy order:

Victor Medvedchuk

Victor Medvedchuk | Sergey Sobinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Viktor Medvedchuk, worth $620 million before the war, was Ukraine’s most powerful oligarch. Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be the godfather of his daughter.

His warmth with the Kremlin backfired.

Prior to Russia’s all-out invasion, Medvedchuk was under arrest and facing an investigation for possible high treason on charges of collaborating with Russia over illegal gas extraction in the Black Sea, as well as coal supplies from rebel-held areas in the Donbass region.

Medvedchuk escaped from house arrest after the invasion but was recaptured while trying to leave the country, disguised as a military volunteer.

In September, it was exchange of Ukrainian prisoners of war held by the Russians. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

His $200 million luxury yacht, the Royal Romance, which will be By public auction For the benefit of Ukraine.

Oligarchy order:

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