The alleged corruption fighter Volodymyr Zelenskyj is apparently no saint when it comes to tax evasion. This is shown by the Pandora Papers and other reports. He and his close circle had built an offshore network. He also doesn’t seem to take it too seriously when it comes to fighting corruption.
The actor, comedian and “pimmel pianist” Volodymyr Zelenskyj was considered by many Ukrainians to be a beacon of hope, which is why they elected him president of the country, which was eaten up by corruption and mismanagement, in 2019. What the voters obviously didn’t know, however, was that Zelenskyy himself cheated the Ukrainian state out of a lot of tax money. Because he and his closest circle had a network of offshore companies, which, among other things, also bought expensive real estate in London.
This is shown by the Pandora Papers, which contain millions of files from 14 offshore service providers. So reported the OCCRP:
The documents show that Zelenskyy and his partners at the television production company Kvartal 95 have built a network of offshore firms dating back at least to 2012, the year the company began producing regular content for television channels that include Ihor Kolomoisky belong, an oligarch hit by allegations of multi-billion dollar fraud. The offshoots were also used by Zelenskyi employees to acquire and own three prime properties in central London. The documents also indicate that shortly before his election he sold his stake in a major offshore company, British Virgin Islands-registered Maltex Multicapital Corp. gave away to his business partner – soon to be his most important advisor. And although he gave up his shares, the documents show an arrangement was soon reached that would allow the offshore company to continue paying dividends to a company now owned by his wife.
Oligarchs, corruption & kleptocracy
Ihor Kolomoisky is considered a turnneck oligarch. While most of the oligarchs in Ukraine have been taking a clear position (pro-West or pro-Russia) for years, Kolomoisky is working with both sides. And Zelenskyy good relationships about this oligarch also cast a shadow over his political reputation. Just like the rampant corruption in his closest environment, like a critical report notes. Another report also cites corruption issues in the country’s healthcare system reform. there says extremely critically:
Like most of Ukraine’s previous presidents, Zelenskyy has made the fight against corruption a central element of his campaign. And like his predecessors, he does not keep his promises. “He has his heart in the right place, he wants to change things. But Zelenskyy does not really understand what is required for systemic reform,” said economist Ash. Zelenskyj’s reform approach and his personnel decisions seemed arbitrary and often determined by polls. Civil society activists believe such methods are the opposite of what is needed for a successful fight against corruption in a country like Ukraine, where bribery is cunning, endemic and perpetuated by the established elites.
The bottom line is that Selenskyj is neither the clean man he likes to portray, nor is he able to bring the endemic corruption even remotely under control. To do this, he would also have to disempower all oligarchs in the country – but he lacks the will and assertiveness to do so. And his oligarch friend Kolomoisky would hold it against him too. After all, he has also (see reports above) shifted a lot of money to the current president.