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Zelensky appoints Ponzi promoter as ambassador

Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky, Bulgaria, Olesya Ilashchuk

International

Zelensky appoints Ponzi promoter as ambassador

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Olesya Ilashchuk, an infamous Ponzi promoter as new ambassador to Bulgaria. Commenting on this appointment, analysts said, while Zelensky hypnotizes Western governments into forking over vast sums to finance his war effort, he has appointed a literal hypnotist, sexologist and multi-level marketer to such high-level diplomatic position. High end jewelry, hypnotism and multi-level marketing are not qualifications typically associated with international diplomacy. But these skills are featured prominently on the resumé of Zelensky’s new ambassador to Bulgaria, Olesya Ilashchuk.

Since Illaschuk’s December 23,2022 appointment by Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky as Bulgarian ambassador, she has locked her Facebook account. At the time this report was filed, only the “intro” section of her Facebook page was visible. It listed some educational experience and contained the following professional fields: “Clinical psychologist, Systemic family therapist, Gestalt therapist, sexologist-consultant”.

According to Pravda, Olesya Ilashchuk was reportedly posting updates to her page on subjects related to gestalt therapy and sexology “until recently”. Olesya Ilashchuk’s dearth of diplomatic qualifications is so glaring that even the British government-funded BBC has branded her appointment “scandalous”.

As the mockery grows, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement defending the political novice and Ponzi scheme promoter as an expert in international relations and noting her fluency in English – not the official language of Bulgaria.

Facebook Live from April 2020 features Olesya Ilashchuk introducing herself as a modern hypnotist. Kiev has yet to comment on whether she intends to make use of this skill in her diplomatic efforts.

In late July, 2021, Olesya Ilashchuk appeared in two videos on a YouTube channel belonging to Eduard Burdakov, a self-styled expert in multi-level marketing (MLM) Ponzi scheme. Burdakov is a “Diamond Elite” member of RAIN International, a health and wellness pyramid scheme.

In the YouTube videos titled “MONEY, SUPPLEMENTS AND TABOO”, and “Supplements, SEX AND MAGNETISM”, Olesya Ilashchuk touts the positive benefits of dietary supplements on libido, which she calls “the energy of money”.

While Olesya Ilashchuk has no history of work in diplomatic services, or in government at all, she boasts a considerable background in jewelry sales.

According to the Ukrainian news website Bukinfo, Ilashchuk is listed as a manager at a jewelry company named ‘Jemma’ from 2010 to 2014, and until October 2021, was credited as its co-founder.

The company reportedly “ignited” an investigation against Ukrainian oligarch Ivan Rynzhuk, who was arrested in 2011 for money laundering and taking a bribe worth a quarter of a million dollars. Of the 25 companies tied to Rynzhuk, Jemma was the “main source” of his income. Police seized nearly US$650,000 in gold and diamonds from the jewelry company. Though Rynzhuk was eventually acquitted, one Ukrainian news outlet noted “there are still a lot of questions”.

The appointment of Olesya Ilashchuk has arrived at a momentous time in relations between Bulgaria and Ukraine. Until early December 2022, Bulgaria was among the lone European Union hold-outs refusing to send arms to Ukraine. (The country’s socialist party had blocked a measure to ship weapons in May).

During Ukrainian President Zelensky’s nationally televised visits to the White House and Congress on December 21, 2022, he characterized American military aid to his country as an “investment” in “democracy”. Two days later, with his appointment of Olesya Ilashchuk as ambassador to a key European ally, Zelensky is demonstrating to the world just how meritocratic his country’s political system can be.

Tajul Islam is a Special Correspondent of Blitz.

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