"EMPTY WITH A WHIFF OF BLOOD & FUMES"

2014

bastashevski-state business-exhibition view

In the spring of 2015, after ousting the corrupt and oligarchic regime of Victor Yanukovych, the voters again chose to project their hopes for economic revival into another oligarch, Petro Poroshenko, electing him as Ukraine’s new president. Unlike other Ukrainian oligarchs, he did not invest in offshore schemes and projected an aura of transparency, at least with regard to his chocolate business that provided approximately 15-20% of his overall profits, still Poroshenko’s assets are estimated were US$ 1.6 billion. Immediately after inauguration, Poroshenko selected Boris Lozhkin as his Head of Administration. Lozhkin is a Moscow-linked media baron, with US$ 127 million in assets and several high profile corruption scandals to his name. Donetsk Regional Governor, Sergei Taruta was another named ally. Metallurgy equipment empire Industrial Union of Donbass (ISD) is at the heart of Taruta success. During the era of Yanukovych, Taruta and his two partners, Haiduk and Mkrtchian, were forced to cede control of the enterprise to Russian investors. Other oligarchs close to Poroshenko were predicted to gain electoral seats within the year. If or when they do, the Ukrainian political class will inevitably risk creating an environment identical to the one that sparked the 2014 Maidan protests.