Rising from The Ashes of War to the Murky Top – Ukraine’s Politics of Plunder

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Mykola Yankovsky and his son Igor have been conspicuously spreading Ukraine's wealth in Europe and the United States in recent years. The retired king and prince of independent Ukraine's chemical industry have plenty to spend. But maybe not for long.

Concern Stirol from 2003 to 2010 sold billions of dollars of chemical fertilizers at discounted prices to companies Igor Yankovsky owned abroad. These companies, in turn, re-sold same to traders at market prices. Igor and his father pocketed the difference in price, also known as the margin.

Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies have so far failed to arrest and return assets of corrupt officials under former disgraced President Viktor Yanukovych. The Yankovsky case may provide them with an opportunity to finally succeed.

Ukrainian lawmakers recently adopted measures allowing the arrest of assets and bank accounts of individuals suspected of engaging in financial terrorism. They may apply to Mykola and Igor Yankovsky and become a real test for both Ukrainian and European systems of justice.

"Concern Stirol arrangements in Europe may have saved Mykola and Igor yankovsky millions of dollars in Ukrainian taxes. I asked Ukraine's state security service to check. a criminal investigation into financial terrorism was launched. New laws enacted by Ukraine's parliament include a simplified procedure allowing the arrest of assets and bank accounts of corrupt persons, even without their presence in the court. I also call on European law-enforcement agencies to help Ukraine identify the use of offshore companies, which are estimated to cost Ukraine billions of dollars in lost tax revenues annually," said Volodymyr Ariev, People's Deputy of Ukraine of the 6th, 7th and 8th convocations, chairman of Ukrainian Delegation in Parliament Assembly of Council of Europe, Pace vice-president (2015), president of pace committee for culture, education, science and media (June 3, 2016)

Modern Survivals Of Prowess

More than a dozen new states emerged during the 1990s as the economies of the former Soviet Union imploded. huge Ukrainian enterprises were managed by individuals who wanted the freedom of the market for themselves but regulations for others. Mykola Yankovsky in 1988 became general director of concern stirol, one of the USSR's largest and most modern chemical production plants. Ten years later he owned it. Concern Stirol is based in Horlivka, Donetsk Region. It is an area in eastern Ukraine today controlled by Kremlin-led militant groups.

Business And Politics

Mykola Yankovsky was elected to Ukraine's national parliament in 1998. He was re-elected in 2004 and advised Yanukovych during his unsuccessful presidential campaign that year. Exactly how much money Mykola contributed to Yanukovych is a mystery.

Sports And Hunting

Mykola Yankovsky's relationship with Yanukovych was personal, as well as political and commercial. he introduced Yanukovych to the sport of tennis. Yankovsky also belonged to the exclusive Cedar (kedr) Hunting Club outside of Kyiv. There were only two dozen members.

Yankovsky remained an influential ally of Yanukovych through February 2014, when the disgraced Ukrainian leader gave the order to use deadly force against anti-government protesters in downtown Kyiv. Riot police on February 20, 2014 shot dozens dead.

Conspicuous Consumption

Mykola Yankovsky's only son, Igor Yankovsky, spends most of his time these days outside of Ukraine, often appearing at receptions of charity events as a philanthropist who helps children and aspiring artists. 

Igor bought one barrel of rare French wine for EUR $270,000 at charity auction in 2012. The expense reportedly got him a lunch date with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, who delivered the burgundy in person. A year earlier Igor shelled out USD 22 million for a NYC townhouse with an 80-meter long swimming pool in the basement. The magnate never moved in and flipped the prime real estate for USD 25 million almost three years later. 

Igor's diamond sphere group company, meanwhile, sponsored "team Ukraine racing with Ferrari." The gifting exercise helped Ukraine's squad take top team honors in 2013.

Invidious Distinction

The chemical production assets of Concern Stirol in 2010 were sold to group DF (Dmytro Firtash), an international group of the companies specializing in sales of nitrogen, titanium and natural gas.

Firtash, who has been accused by US officials of bribing Indian officials to secure a titanium deal, is currently in Austria fighting extradition to the United States. Ukraine's state security service in 2016 opened a criminal investigation into the activities of stirol on suspicion of financial terrorism. The announcement coincided with visits to Stirolbio farm by leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR).

DNR field commander Oleksandr Khodorkovsky on March 27, 2016 said on his LiveJournal page that narcotic drugs are produced at the plant, which is inaccessible to Ukrainian troops and Kremlin-backed militant's groups.

"The few people who knew what actually going on there could not say much because they disappeared so quickly," Khodorkovsky said.

Images courtesy of Peter Byrne and used with permission. 

Peter Byrne is a рассеянный journalist who looks after his daughter. He spends his free time collecting ideas, running and learning new technologies. His hard hitting investigative reports have resulted in bans from several countries including Belarus since 1997 and Russia since 2005. He is a welcome contributor to Haute-Lifestyle.com

Haute Tease

  • Award Winning Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel Joins MasterClass to Teach French Pastry Fundamentals

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    MasterClass, the online education company that enables anyone access to the masters of the craft, announced today that James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and Cronut® creator Dominique Ansel will debut his first-ever online pastry class exclusively through its platform.

     
  • Keynote Announcements from Sony, Yahoo and Cisco Plus Compelling SuperSessions Open 2014 International CES

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LAS VEGAS, NV, January 8, 2014 – Major product launches from more than 3,200 exhibitors and keynotes from the leaders of Sony, Yahoo and Cisco opened the 2014 International CES® on Tuesday, January 7.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump’s Border Crisis; The Numbers; UNHRC; NYC Gay Vote; GE/Disney/Comcast

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump is facing mounting public pressure over the escalating immigration crisis along the southern border of the United States as policies surrounding undocumented families, separation and border babies has again become problematic for a sitting president.

     
  • Money News: DOW, North American Markets Up; London, France and Asian Market All Up; Germany Closes Down

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, managing to keep the bear market at bay, rode the bull for another week and closed the trading week up with double digit gains as the upswing carried over into North American Markets, London and Asian which all closed up.

     
  • Milan Fashion Week: IH NOM UH NIT SS19 Runway Debut

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Inspired by the 2016 science fiction movie "Midnight Special," designer Chaz Jordan unveiled a cohesive urban collection infused with a charming interstellar fashion with multiple garments distinctively free of gender identification. 

     
  • Hands of Stone Review – Engaging, Solid, A Box Office Knockout

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hands of Stone, from The Weinstein Company, presents the epic story of Roberto Duran, a dirt poor Panamanian slum baby pegged for boxing greatness who rose to rule with the help of a legendary New York trainer Ray Arcel.

     
  • Senator Ends 15 Hour Filibuster with GOP Agreement; Trump, Clinton Weigh in on Issue

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Senator Chris Murphy, (D-CT) launched a senate filibuster that lasted for 15 long hours as the junior senator marched through the mass killings America has endured until the Republicans an agreement on gun control could be reached.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Iranian No Nuke Deal; Israel Protests; Hezbollah Celebrates; Menendez Indicted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama announced the making of an historic deal in principal, a political framework, which if fully implemented will prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon creating a safer region and world.

     
  • Apartment Troubles Review - Life in New York City 101; The Good, Bad and Ugly

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Apartment Troubles, from Gravitas Ventures, presents a dramedy into the scary journey of finding housing in New York City, complete with every possible nightmare, as life regurgitates enough lessons to keep any up and coming artist concerned.

     
  • Europe Strong - Still and Always

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    If Brexit was able to threaten the unity of the European Union, it appears three years after the British referendum the political Europe knew how to preserve its initial design by sending back Britain to its contradictions.

     
  • Pacific Opera Project takes on Shakespeare and Verdi in a Cemetery with Falstaf

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    This September, Pacific Opera Project (POP) continues its successful run of presenting engaging productions in unique venues across Los Angeles with Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff, presented outdoors at the top of Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Museum Plaza) in Glendale.  

  • Top 100 Suites in The World Revealed By Elite Traveler, The Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From secluded islands in the tropics to idyllic mountain settings and some of the world’s most exciting cities, no stone has been left un-turned in seeking out the most extraordinary places to stay in the world.

     
  • Beltway Insider: AMERICA UNDER SIEGE, Two Shootings, 15 hours, 29 Dead, Dayton, El Paso, Trump’s Culpability, Boeing, Harvey Milk, Saoirse Kennedy Hill

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Americans woke to the horrific news of another Mass Shooting, in Dayton, Ohio, just thirteen hours after the El Paso shooting, killing nine and injuring 20, bringing the one-day total to 29 dead and 46 injured.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama, Romney Meet for Lunch; US Headed for Fiscal Cliff; UN Votes in Favor of Palestinian State

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama played host, this week, to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a private lunch that brought the once political foes together for the first time since the November 6 election.

     
  • World News: The Cataclysm and The Mouse

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the aftermath of the European elections, if the time is for the adaptation of the Union to the expectations of the citizens, in France the time does not seem to be constrained, the Elysée even expects to accelerate the train of reforms.