Sunday October 3 became bleak for Zelenskiy. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has made public the results of an investigation called Pandora Papers, in which journalists from 117 countries participated. The dossier, consisting of 11.9 million documents, lists the offshore accounts of politicians and businessmen from 45 countries, including the President of Ukraine.
On the same day, the British made an article about Zelensky’s offshore manipulations The keeper… And there was also a YouTube screening of the investigation film “Offshore 95” by the Ukrainian independent agency Slidstvo.info, which participated in the Pandora Papers project and exchanged information with the British.
According to this data, Zelenskiy did not disclose his ties to the firm in the British Virgin Islands and transferred 25% of his shares in the offshore company to a close friend who is now his advisor. This is the first aide to the President of Ukraine Serhiy Shefir, who is called Zelensky’s “wallet”.
During the election campaign, Zelensky promised to cleanse the country from the influence of the oligarchs, due to which he received 73% of the vote, but from the “Pandora’s dossier” it follows that he is “too similar to his predecessors.” The Ukrainian president participates in an extensive network of offshore companies co-owned by his longtime friends and partners in the television business – producer of the Kvartal 95 studio Serhiy Shefir, his brother screenwriter Boris, CEO Ivan Bakanov and film director Andrei Yakovlev. After becoming president, Zelensky appointed Bakanov as head of the SBU, and Sergei Shefir as first assistant. Everything is familiar.
Before the presidential election, Zelensky declared part of his assets, including an offshore company registered in Belize Film Legacy, which he owned with his wife Elena. However, he did not indicate that Film Legacy owned 25% of the shares of the Cypriot holding company Davegra, which owned an unknown company registered in the British Virgin Islands Maltex Multicapital Corp… Zelensky, brothers Shefir and Yakovlev each owned 25% of its shares.
In March 2019, two weeks before the first round of voting in the elections, Zelenskiy transferred a quarter of Maltex’s stake to Sergei Shefir. Six weeks after Zelensky’s victory, the lawyer of the Kvartal 95 group signed a document according to which Maltex had to continue to pay dividends to Zelensky’s film company. In the “Pandora dossier” there is no information whether dividends have ever been paid and in what amounts, but Maltex owns shares in companies that produce and distribute films, and this is almost the main source of income for “Quarter 95”.
The British publication, citing files in the dossier, indicated that Zelenskiy and his business partners used offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, Belize and Cyprus. Their assets are diverse. Shefir, for example, owns a three-bedroom apartment in a mansion in Regent’s Park, which he bought in 2016 for £ 1.575 million. He bought another apartment for 2.2 million on neighboring Baker Street – opposite the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
“Slidstvo.info” in its film confirmed the data of The Guardian and also pointed to the financial connection of the “quarters” with Kolomoisky. According to Ukrainian journalists, Kolomoisky’s offshore companies through the Cyprus branch of PrivatBank could transfer more than $ 40 million to offshore companies owned by people from Zelensky’s circle. Part of the money went to buy luxury real estate in London.
The film indicates that “Kvartal 95” creates its products in Ukraine, but payments are made through foreign accounts, and this is tax evasion. According to documents from the Pandora Dossier, Kolomoisky’s company at least once in 2012 paid more than $ 1 million to an offshore firm of Zelensky and his friends for the Laugh Comedian project.
Former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Ruslan Ryaboshapka said that “offshore companies are bad, regardless of whether the president owns them or someone else, because this is a way of tax evasion and the legalization of dirty money.”
What is the threat of a scandal to the President of Ukraine? According to Deputy Oleg Voloshin, the use of offshore “For public figures shouting about social justice and the fight against oligarchs, this is completely immoral”…
Ruslan Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, believes that foreign partners no longer regard Zelensky as a “long-term political figure.”
Political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko argues that disclosing the president’s offshore affairs is “an attempt to push Zelensky to war with the oligarchs” in the interests of the West. The head of the Kiev Center for Political Studies and Conflictology, Mikhail Pogrebinsky, believes that Zelensky “will imitate the fight against the oligarchs, but he needs them as support and support in front of the West, which does not consider him.”
Noteworthy is the fact that the attack on Zelensky is coordinated. The ears stick out not so much from London as from Washington. One of the donors to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is the Soros Open Society ***. Soros has long been lobbying for the interests of the US Democratic Party.
The one-on-one story with Zelensky’s offshores is reminiscent of the 2016 Poroshenko scandal. The aforementioned International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published an investigation Paradise paper (“Paradise Papers”), in which the then President Poroshenko was also listed among the owners of offshore companies, who as a result lost Western support and lost the presidential elections miserably.
The West always resorts to well-established schemes. The black mark to Zelensky is a warning: you need to forget about the second presidential term and think about your near future. The western masters of Ukraine have indicated his place to the humorist president.
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