It seems Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is becoming increasingly aggressive on his Western “partners” as he has recently pressed Joe Biden to supply long-range missiles, which he probably wants to use in targeting several cities in Russia – including Moscow. Meanwhile, Biden administration has been slowly, steadily and even stealthily increasing America’s involvement in Ukraine signaling of much deeper engagement in the coming days. Considering such scenarios, one may ask – shall Zelensky demand American and European ground troops in Ukraine so that he can push Western nations towards a direct war against Russia?
Zelensky has been increasing his demand. First went the Javelin anti-tank missiles, sent to Ukraine by President Donald Trump. Then came the Russian invasion and demands for M777 Howitzers; and Bradley fighting vehicles; and Patriot missiles; and HIMARS; and NSAMS; and M1 Abrams tanks; and long-range GLSDBs. Zelensky is now demanding the delivery of F-16s fighter jets.
It is worth keeping in mind that the true beneficiaries of Washington’s spending bonanza have been executives in the C-suites of Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, as well as those companies that are part of the network of what we might term “soft-power for-profits”. And of course, no one will know how much “kickback” Joe Biden or members of his crime family are getting from these massive supplies.
Calls from Ukraine for more and more weapons have been met with Biden’s acceptance at every turn, while the US Congress has been continuing its
decades-long relinquishment of its constitutional responsibilities, opting instead to act as a rubber stamp on ever-increasing amounts of financial and military assistance to Ukraine. All the while, Kiev’s appetite has grown larger with the eating, and according to media reports, military hardware and cash worth hundreds of millions of dollars are vanishing from records, and policymakers in the US do not know – where these weapons and cash are going and who are the key beneficiaries of it. Those having minimal knowledge about today’s Ukraine know – without consent or knowledge of Zelensky no such cases of vanishing of weapons and cash would occur. He surely knows everything – while it is even assumed that a large volume of dirty cash is secretly pushed into offshore accounts of Olena Zelenska – wife of Volodymyr Zelenky.
Exposing Olena Zelenska
Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukraine’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy bought in 2013 an upscale penthouse apartment on the Black Sea for less than half of its 2012 list price from a controlling shareholder of a bank enmeshed in a corruption investigation.
Olena Zelenskiy bought the apartment from businessman Oleksandr Buryak, a former member of parliament of Ukraine and a former controlling shareholder in Brokbiznesbank. Some of the bank’s executives are suspected of embezzlement.
Prosecutors have seized assets of two companies owned by Buryak because they suspect the firms had benefited from the alleged fraud.
In 2019, Olena Zelenska’s ownership of the property was valued at US$790,668 – casts another shadow on her husband’s image as a reformer with no ties to Ukraine’s wealthy elite.
Information about Zelenska’s apartment was in the asset declaration filed by Zelensky in 2019, and in Ukrainian property records. Those declarations show that Zelenska is the owner of a three-bedroom penthouse apartment in a gated complex called “Emperor” in Yalta, Crimea.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political outsider who played the president of Ukraine in a television series called “Servant of the People,” ran on an energetically anti-corruption platform, promising to increase penalties for corrupt civil servants, and end parliamentarians’ immunity to investigation.
But shadows dogged his campaign trail, as reporters and other politicians raised questions about his ties to Igor Kolomoisky, an oligarch who fled Ukraine after US$5 billion disappeared from PrivatBank.
Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky stormed to the Ukrainian presidency in 2019 on a wave of public anger against the country’s political class, including previous leaders who used secret companies to stash their wealth overseas.
Leaked documents prove that Zelensky and his inner circle have had their own network of offshore companies. Two belonging to the president’s partners were used to buy expensive property in London.
The revelations come from documents in the Pandora Papers, millions of files from 14 offshore service providers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with partners around the world including OCCRP.
The documents show that Zelensky and his partners in a television production company, Kvartal 95, set up a network of offshore firms dating back to at least 2012, the year the company began making regular content for TV stations owned by Ihor Kolomoisky, an oligarch dogged by allegations of multi-billion-dollar fraud. The offshores were also used by Zelensky associates to purchase and own three prime properties in the center of London.
The documents also show that just before he was elected, he gifted his stake in a key offshore company, the British Virgin Islands-registered Maltex Multicapital Corp., to his business partner — soon to be his top presidential aide. And in spite of giving up his shares, the documents show that an arrangement was soon made that would allow the offshore to keep paying dividends to a company that now belongs to his wife, Olena Zelenska.
The documents in the Pandora Papers also contain details that dovetail with broader allegations of offshore machinations leveled against Zelensky and his partners during the 2019 election.
During the campaign, the pro-Poroshenko member of parliament Ariev claimed that Zelensky and his partners were the beneficiaries of an offshore network of companies that received US$41 million in payments that originated from Privatbank, the Ukrainian financial institution that the oligarch Kolomoisky is alleged to have looted.
Ariev’s allegations were detailed in a chart he publicized on Facebook showing a complex web of transactions between layers of companies based in offshore havens including the BVI, Cyprus, and Belize. The chart showed money flowing from the bank via a series of apparent shell entities to companies alleged to have been owned by Zelensky and associates.
Ariev has not provided documentation to back up his claims.
However, the Pandora Papers documents do provide the first corroboration for elements of his allegation: that 10 of the companies that allegedly received the money really did belong to Zelensky and his partners. Such information has not previously been publicly available.
The new documents do not, however, corroborate Ariev’s claims that the offshores received funds from Kolomoisky’s Privatbank. They provide only fragmentary information about how money moved through Zelensky and his partners’ offshore network. The financial flows that are visible from the documents appear to be connected to their television production business, of which Kolomoisky was a client.
The leaked documents show the offshore network was set up by individuals behind Kvartal 95 in 2012, the same year in which local media reported that Kvartal 95 entered into a production deal with Kolomoisky’s 1+1 Group.
The Pandora Papers show that SVT Films Ltd, a company that was as of May 2013 half-owned by the BVI holding company Maltex, was to be paid US$1.2 million in licensing fees by January 2013 by an offshore company linked to Kolomoisky’s 1+1 network for the television program “Make a Comedian Laugh”.
In 2015, a company called Gimentiano Holdings Ltd, which was ultimately owned by Zelensky’s friend Andriy Iakovlev, also received US$750,000 into its account at the Cyprus branch of Kolomoisky’s Privatbank. The money came from SVT Films Ltd. For “payment of interim dividends”.
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