As Democratic Party is almost definitely going to replace Joe Biden with another candidate to face Donald Trump on November 5, key policymakers at America’s intelligence establishments, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are becoming increasingly dissatisfied at Volodymyr Zelensky and are looking for ending his “corrupt and senseless” regime to end. Meanwhile, there is growing rivalry between Zelensky and Kiev’s top general Valery Zaluzhny, while a large segment of Ukrainian forces along with young cadets are putting pressure on Zaluzhny to topple Volodymyr Zelensky through coup d’état.
Meanwhile, since Monday, January 29, reports about removal of Valery Zaluzhny have been spreading in the media although Kiev regime is maintaining total silence on this matter. Instead, several propaganda outlets of the Kiev neo-Nazi’s have been making frantic bids in hiding this matter. Despite such propaganda attempts, it is revealed – while there is growing speculations of removing Volodymyr Zelensky from power through coup d’état, Zelensky on the other side also is trying to sack Kiev’s top general Valery Zaluzhny and his loyalists. This has been confirmed through a report published in The Financial Times. According to FT, removal of Zaluzhny may result in a massive shake-up in Ukrainian military command.
Meanwhile, according to a source in Kiev, Ukrainian anti-graft agency the
National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NACBU) is currently running “covert investigation” in corruption charges against Volodymyr Zelensky, his wife Olena Zelenska and some of the members of Zelensky’s inner circle.
It was earlier revealed by a number of investigation agencies, including OCCRP stating, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his partners in comedy production owned a network of offshore companies related to their business based in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize.
According to 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.
Zelensky capitalized on widespread public anger at corruption, but his 2019 campaign was dogged by doubts over his anti-graft bona fides, given that his campaign was boosted by media belonging to Kolomoisky — who is accused of stealing US$5.5 billion from his own bank and funneling it offshore in concert with his partner, Hennadiy Boholiubov.
In the heat of the campaign, a political ally of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko published a chart on Facebook purporting to show that Zelensky and his television production partners were beneficiaries of a web of offshore firms that allegedly received US$41 million in funds from Kolomoisky’s Privatbank.
That ally, Volodymyr Ariev, didn’t provide evidence, and his accusations have never been proven. But the Pandora Papers show that at least some of the details in this alleged scheme correspond to reality. The leaked documents show information on 10 companies in the network that match structures detailed in Ariev’s chart.
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 $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.
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”.
OCCRP has previously reported that the Cyprus branch played a key role in Kolomoisky and his partner’s alleged multi-billion-dollar theft from the bank. Kolomoisky’s partner, Boholiubov, declined to respond to questions sent by reporters that were addressed to both men.
Even as Zelensky pushes his anti-oligarch campaign, some continue to doubt his sincerity. Among them is Ruslan Ryaboshapka, who was picked by Zelensky as the country’s top prosecutor in 2019, but ousted from the role in early 2020. He told OCCRP he believes this was due to pressure from the oligarch Kolomoisky.
“A president shouldn’t own offshore companies. In general, offshore companies are bad, whether they’re owned by a president or not”, Ryaboshapka said.
He called moving money offshore “an old tradition” in Ukraine, because the country was perceived as a dangerous place with “no rule of law”. But still, the use of such companies today raises red flags of “tax evasion or the legalization of dirty money”, he said.