Posts Tagged ‘business’

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A Granovsky false flag in defence of Kononenko?

December 17, 2016

The name of Ihor Kononenko has appeared fairly frequently in the blog – usually annotated with “President Poroshenko’s leg breaker in the Verhovna Rada” or “the mere mention of his name has diplomats eyes rolling” or “to whom the presidential leash should be applied”.

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To be absolutely blunt, Mr Kononenko is an old and loyal friend of President Poroshenko and is being allowed to run amok with all the worst possible parallels to the Yanukovych regime approach to business and state owned enterprises, whilst also acting as parliamentary enforcer for the president.

Certain readers known to this blog have first hand experience of Mr Kononenko.  To be charitable he is a predator.  To be less so, he can go beyond “dubious” and “nefarious” when it comes to the boundaries of the law.

There is no doubt that President Poroshenko is aware of at least some of the deeds of his friend – even if he doesn’t read the media (and he is probably the most PR aware Ukrainian president ever) there is no way some deeds will not have been raised directly by the diplomatic community with the president on occasion.

Sooner or later, should the presidential leash not be placed upon Mr Kononenko and thus his appetites somewhat reduced, a reader may foresee a situation similar to that of Viktor Shokin whereby the international pressure from “friends of Ukraine” will continue to build surrounding him to the point of ultimatums.

Also occasionally mentioned by the blog is Alexander Granovsky usually annotated with “rising star in Kyiv” or “whose political star is in the ascendancy” (or similar).

Although from Uman originally, Mr Granovsky since his (Mechnikov) university days in Odessa, has been a permanent business/public persona in the city – perhaps best known for his activities with business partner from Boris Kaufman (also from Odessa).  That said both also have business interests that do not involve the other.

Mr Granovsky’s business history is as a reader would expect – he had owned more than a dozen companies between 1997 and 2006 (which could be, but won’t be listed here), almost all with “colourful” reputations or occasional scandals.  Some have since been sold, some have been retained, and new enterprises continue to appear.  Suffice to say those interests cover everything from port dredging, to banking, to fertilizer, to hotels, to airports, media, alcohol, tobacco, and more.

Mr Granovsky is also a man inclined to be generous with the synagogue in Odessa being a major beneficiary.

Regardless of interesting histories (worthy of entries of their own) both Mr Granovsky and Mr Kononenko are Block Poroshenko parliamentarians will significant gravitas within both the party, faction and the parliament itself – albeit with different and distinct roles in controlling events.

The past few days have seen some interesting entries on Mr Granovsky’s Facebook. – a photograph of a text conversation on Telegram was uploaded.

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A conversation prime facie appealing to Mr Granovsky for help to fend off the unwanted attentions of the predatory Ihor Kononenko.

“Хочу обратиться ко всем симпатикам моего коллеги по залу Игоря Кононенко, чтоб сообщить о том, что лично он, обращаясь ко мне в мессенджере телеграмм, пытается втянуть меня в преступный сговор с не до конца попятной для меня целью. Что-то мне подсказывает, что дело не чистое.
Доказательство ниже.

P.S.
Конечно же, какой-то “озорник” таким образом пытается выманить деньги. Половина фракции тоже получила подобные сообщения. Примитивно, но в каких-то случаях эффективно:(((“

Mr Granovsky accompanied that photograph with a statement appealing to his parliamentary colleagues to give Mr Kononenko a sympathetic audience, for he suspected intrigue of a nefarious kind, stating that half of the Poroshenko faction had received similar texts attempting to obtain money.  His post insinuated that some had indeed complied, paying off an unknown party.

It is without a shadow of a doubt that Mr Granovsky has the telephone number of Mr Kononenko and can authenticate (or not)  the demands for money.  Such faux intuition of intrigue and public (Facebook) disclosure is quite unnecessary for a man capable of getting immediate responses from Mr Kononenko.

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“Короткий апдейт на тему хулигана, который прикрывался именем Игоря Кононенко с целью выманить деньги у коллег по фракции и не только.

Следующие несколько лет, судя по всему, он будет шлифовать свои навыки в 4 стенах. Отдельное спасибо сотрудникам спецподразделения “Альфа” СБУ.”

On 17th December, a few days after setting the scene on Facebook, Mr Granovsky via Facebook once more, gave public thanks to a SBU Alfa Unit for arresting somebody – (as yet unidentified and as of the time of writing the detention has not been confirmed by the SBU) – using Ihor Kononenko’s name to extort money from his parliamentary colleagues.

Naturally questions arise.

Firstly just how subservient to and/or scared of Ihor Kononenko are his parliamentary colleagues to have simply paid this unknown offender acting under Mr Kononenko’s name apparently without his knowledge?

As always, the questions have to be asked as to who benefits, and why are things being done this way?

In publicly announcing this affair on Facebook, does Mr Granovsky do more or less harm to the “parliamentary leg breaker” and predatory image that Ihor Kononeko already has among his parliamentary colleagues and the business community?

Although probably not the case, if designed to do more damage, what motivates Mr Granovsky to make such a bold move?  Why now?

If designed to mitigate Mr Kononenko’s image, is this a false flag incident created to deflect some near horizon allegations against Mr Kononenko insofar as it will be held up as evidence that his name is misused and/or spuriously attacked over events he will claim he has no involvement in (whether he does or not)?

If it be the latter and this is a preparatory false flag, what scandal is upon the immediate Kononeko horizon that requires such theatre?

It is of course possible that Mr Granovsky thinks it is simply a fun story that people should know about – but Mr Granovsky is a clever man and is simply not that oblivious to the perceptions and the questions that arise by making this affair public.

Something about this just doesn’t seem right.  Perhaps all will become clearer fairly soon.

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31 candidates to replace Misha Saakashvili as Governor of Odessa. Who’s who?

December 16, 2016

Although most readers will not be particularly interested in the replacement for Misha Saakashvili as Governor of Odessa, having written an occasional  few lines on the subject as potential candidates expressed interest, a full list therefore follows now that candidate applications are closed.

Surprisingly Pavel Zhebrivskyi, the former head of the Donetsk military and civil administration is not listed.  Sadly, for his eccentricity, flamboyance, questionably effeminate nature, and pure entertainment value Garik Korogodski is also absent.

Those successfully registering their candidacy are as follows (and appear in no particular order):

Igor Romanenko, Alexandr Vashenko, Alexandr Ostapenko, Sergei Pomazan, Elizabeth Pyshko-Tsibylyak, Volodymyr Levitskyi, Artem Vaschilenko, Vladislav Grigorchyk, Gennady Chekita, Dmitry Sokolyanskyi, Roman Saromaga, Anatoli Vorohaev, Volodymyr Gavrish, Yulia Melnik, Vasily Horbal, Igor Smirnov, Alexandr Tymoshenko, Valeri Stepanov, Dmitry Spivak, Maxim Berdnik, Oksana Tomchuk, Maxim Stepanov, Alexandr Vinglovskyi, Igor Skosar, Sergei Mazur, Petro Lykyanchuk, Hanna Trifan, Yevgene Chernvonenko and Yuri Chizhmar.

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The most (in)famous among the candidates was the first to throw his hat into the ring, Yevgene Chernovenko – a member of Tymoshenko’s first government and also a former Governor.  A man that if allowed to emerge the winner will have clearly have had to strike a deal with The Bankova to do so as his loyalty to the president is not exactly robust historically.

Gennady Chekita may have no loyalty issues as far as The Bankova is concerned (he is the MP for the Malinovsky district elected under Block Poroshenko and Verkhovna Rada Economics Committee member) but it is questionable if he will to be allowed to emerge the winner as it would mean a by-election for his single mandate seat – which may not go the way of Block Poroshenko.

Another current MP in the Verkhovna Rada is Yuri Chizhmar of the Radical Party – and therefore unlikely to get the tacit nod from The Bankova to emerge as the top candidate for a region as strategic as Odessa (both geographically and by way of large, healthy, illicit money channels).

The current Mayor of Balta, Sergei Mazur is also a candidate.

Also among those holding local governance office previously are former Governor Vasliy Horbal, former Vice-Mayor Anatoly Vorohaev, a former chairman of a Regional State Administration, Volodymyr Gavrish and former City Deputy Dmitry Spivak.  Also former Deputy Governor of Luhansk Elizabeth Pyshko-Tsibylyak.   Last but by no means least from the civil service , former Odessa Deputy Governor and Deputy of the Tax Administration Maxim Stepanov.  Also former Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ihor Romanenko is noted for his inclusion, and before leaving matters military, “Cyborg” (Donetsk Airport veteran) Alexandr Tymoshenko also appears.

There are also several candidates from the current Odessa Regional Administration, Sergei Pomazan, Yulia Melnik and Volodymyr Levitskyi.

Of the remaining names of any note (without any research) Chairman of the Ukrainian Business Support Centers (and “widows son”) Artem Vaschilenko then leaves but one.

The last name is Alexandr Ostapenko a former City Deputy and former Deputy Head of the Regional State Administration.  Of all the names, prima facie, Mr Ostapenko is perhaps the individual most easily identified as suited to the methodical, systematic, bureaucratic, boring work associated with the office of a regional governor.

Nevertheless, who ever emerges from the “competition” to replace Misha Saakashvili will be ranked first and foremost by their loyalty to the president.  Any dubious history and their ability to do the job will be of secondary importance.  There is simply no way an oblast like Odessa will be allowed to have a governor that is not loyal to the president first and foremost.

All hats are now thrown in the ring and therefore a reader may perhaps tentatively decide to rank them by way of loyalty to the president, overt party affiliation (if any), and latterly ability, for within that scoring matrix is any real competition for the post.

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The official EU overview of Ukrainian progress 2016

December 13, 2016

A very short entry to bring a reader’s attention to the official EU overview of Ukrainian progress during 2016.

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Predictably the issues where Ukraine invariably fails (and highlighted by the blog) is left to the concluding paragraph.

“Reform in Ukraine is a long-term process looking to bring long-term results. As outlined in this report, many important reforms are ripe to move from the legislative and institutional phase to effective implementation, which will benefit Ukraine’s citizens and contribute further to its political association and economic integration with the EU. Ukrainian civil society and other stakeholders have suggested that the EU and Ukraine should do more to communicate publicly, both in Ukraine and abroad, and explain the rationale for, and benefits of, the reforms undertaken by the government.”

If only the blog had a Dollar for every time the phrase “effective policy” and “effective implementation” had been written during the many years it has been running!

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Pfeifer & Langen buy Mriya sugar mills – Ukraine

December 2, 2016

Less than 2 months ago an entry appeared regarding the exceptionally murky, decidedly criminal, and mysterious yet unknown top level protection being afforded by those with incredible clout to the investment disaster/horror story surrounding Mriya Agro Holdings in Ukraine.

An on-going and unresolved nightmare of which those at the very top have made no efforts to resolve – despite the situation going from bad to worse and the ugly image the situation projects.  Having re-read the above link, it really is an investment horror show.

Nevertheless, it appears that Germany’s Pfeifer & Langen have bought (or are imminently to do so)  the sugar mills of Mriya Agro from Prominvestbank that took control of these particular assets as collateral for past and defaulted loans.

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To be fair, Pfiefer & Langen are no strangers to Ukraine.  They have been active in the country for a decade via their subsidiary Radekhiv Sugar Ltd.  (Indeed they are active in sugar in half a dozen or more European nations.)

Clearly Pfeifer & Langen will have done their due diligence and therefore feel confident that they will be able to protect their asset – unlike the numerous well known international investors who now own Mriya and look on forlornly as the remains of that agricultural empire are slowly but surely stolen from under their noses piece by piece by previous owner structures with no resulting action by the Ukrainian political elite or law enforcement structures.

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The NBU, the SBU, wiretapping and shenanigans all round

November 24, 2016

Wiretapped telephone conversations of a former Deputy Head of the NBU, now Director for Banking Supervision at the NBU Ekaterina Rozhkova have appeared on the Internet.

The internal workings of the National Bank of Ukraine, or any national bank, are far beyond the competencies of this blog.  It may be that what these telephone recordings prove is really rather standard fare within central banks other than that of the NBU – unfortunate if true.

Prima facie however, the wiretapped conversations would seem to display something bordering upon criminality in the collapsing of St Michael’s Bank and also in the support of Platinum Bank.

A cynical reader may perhaps ponder whether some bank owners simply orbit the wrong political planets when it comes to the “independent a-political” support of the NBU.  With the banks mentioned in the recordings clearly some bank owners are close to currently powerful figures, such as Granovsky, Lozhkin etc., – and some aren’t.

Cynicism redirected however, there is another side to the tale of these apparent NBU shenanigans and the wiretapping that disclosed them.

The only State agency permitted to conduct wiretapping is the SBU.

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SBU Chief Hrytsak however states that the SBU received no requests to carry out the wiretapping by any authority relating to Ms Rozhkova, and it would appear the wiretapping is also not the product of an on-going SBU investigation – for Mr Hrytsak claims the SBU does not even have the wiretap recordings (other than what can be gleaned from the Internet).

The recording however are clearly the result of good tradecraft.

If the SBU received no authority and sought none regarding these wiretaps that they claim not to even posses, then who carried them out?

If not officially the SBU, perhaps then unofficially the SBU?

If so who within the SBU, to what end, for whom, for what reward etc?

There are counterintelligence questions to be asked within the SBU if its officers are “for hire” – and if “for hire” for hire to whom considering the varying levels of external infiltration that will still exist within all State structures of Ukraine.

If it wasn’t the SBU, whether or not it was carried out by another foreign or domestic institution equally demands the SBU set about discovering who that was – and why.

Clearly NABU would be wise to use this incident to reassert its need for its own “in-house” wiretapping abilities – the case for not relying upon the SBU made clear by such a poor public (and quite possibly internal) display in the handling of these illicit wiretaps.

Meanwhile, as media and SBU encourage a reader to look at these events within the NBU, there is an equally disturbing story relating to the SBU and the wiretapping itself otherwise ignored.

Will anything come of any NBU nefariousness when evidence is based upon the foundation of an illegal wiretap?  A question to be answered later perhaps.

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Privatisation and domestic competition – Odessa Port Side and Odessa Port

November 17, 2016

With the second attempt at the privatisation of Odessa Port Side soon arriving upon the horizon, it is necessary to make clear that this time it undoubtedly will sell.

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Another failure there will not be – the opening bid price is now about right and likely to encourage a final offer above that opening bid price.

According to the ministry responsible for conducting the privatisation there are both domestic and foreign bidders this time, and although they cannot be named by the ministry, the bidders can of course make themselves known.

It remains unknown whether Group DF will actively pursue this asset long coveted by Dmitry Firtash – or not.  As the link explains there are issues that would politically preclude his success, none more so that the many $ billions of debt owed to Russia’s Gazprombank.

Thus far two domestic bidders have let their interest be known.

One bidder is Glenshee Holdings (Cyprus) owned by Alexander Yaroslavsky.  The second known bidder is Ukrefteburenie, which is in turn owned by Deripon Commercial (Cyprus), owned by Ihor Kolomoisky, who has also long coveted this asset, and Vitaly Homutyunnik (a particularly affluent parliamentarian and Kolomoisky lobbyist therein).

As stated in previous entries regarding this particular privatisation “Though perhaps it is irrelevant whether Odessa Port Side is sold to foreign or Ukrainian owners as long as the privatisation occurs to the highest of international standards, a reader may perhaps have more faith in a foreign investor actually honouring the clauses within the contract of sale than a potential Ukrainian owner.”

That comment still holds true – what matters for Ukraine is that the privatisation meets the highest standards of international practice and that winners and losers all leave the process with complete faith in the integrity of that process and its outcome.  Whether the winner be a domestic or foreign bidder is a secondary consideration (albeit a foreign winner sends a far more desirable signal).

Whatever – It can already be said that there is at least domestic competition for the asset – or can it?

Of the two known domestic bidders any sensible money would be placed upon the Kolomoisky/Homutyunnik Ukrefteburenie (Deripon Commercial) bid being the winner vis a vis Glenshee Holdings and Mr Yaroslavsky.

The reasoning behind that statement is that Messrs Kolomoisky and Yaroslavsky are both active, amicable shareholders in Ukratatnafta.  It is beyond naivety to believe that the winner of this “competition” has not already been agreed privately.  Their relationship has nothing to gain from animosity in a genuine bidding competition.

Quite simply Mr Kolomoisky wants it more – and has always wanted it – as Mr Yaroslavsky (and everybody else) knows.   Indeed it can be pondered whether Mr Yaroslavsky’s interest is there simply to give the appearance of domestic competition for Messrs Kolomoisky and Homutyunnik, or whether it exists as Contingency Plan B should the Kolomoisky-Homutyunnik bid be deemed unpalatable and Mr Yaroslavsky would then hold ownership for a period of time before selling it on per prior agreement.

As matters stand however, realistically it can be understood that the winner of the Odessa Port Side privatisation is going to be between the Kolomoisky/Homutyunnik Ukrefteburenie (Deripon Commercial) bid and any foreign bidders.

In a few weeks the winner will be known – but sold Odessa Port Side most certainly will be now there is a far more sensible opening bid price.

The blog having decried the original bid price as far too high for the first failed attempt at privatising Odessa Port Side, it is now time to decry a sale price that is far below what it should be – in Odessa Port.

It appears that the Ministry of Infrastructure is attempting to quietly sell off the 12 tugs of Odessa Commercial Sea Port to a company called P&O Maritime FZE.  The tug service at the port is a source of significant income for OCSP – on average a tug costs about $750 per hour.  Annually “tug revenue” generates about $15 million.

It therefore appears that a monopoly at OCSP that generates about $15 million for the port should not be quietly sold off for a mere $50 million – particularly when the rumoured sale will be constructed of an immediate $25 million payment followed by the remainder spread over several years.

Clearly there are few monopolies being sold off that repay outlay within 4 years – thus the nature of this attempt to quietly facilitate this sale at a prima facie undervaluation seems to have more than a whiff of nefariousness about it.

Perhaps Prime Minister Groisman, who stated he would personally look after Odessa during the absence of a Governor would take it upon himself to ask questions of the Ministry of Infrastructure regarding this sale and lowly asking price?  Perhaps he would too – if he knew about it, but a reader probably suspects he is rather too busy to take note of what is happening in Odessa despite his well-meaning rhetoric.

Maybe among the diplomatic corps that drop by the blog, one will privately raise the issue?

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One hat in the ring for Governor of Odessa?

November 12, 2016

When Misha Saakashvili unsurprisingly quit as Governor of Odessa on 7th November, something that had been evident since June and thus a long time coming, whilst others immediately wrote post mortem regarding his tenure, the blog preferred to look forward and not back.

The obvious question was who would replace Misha Saakashvili?

Which hats would be tossed in the ring that despite the transparent process (not public process) would have President Poroshenko’s approval (as coincidentally under the new process Governor’s of Kharkiv and Mykolaevskaya Oblasts went to Poroshenko people and there is no reason to believe those coincidences would not continue in a strategically and nefarious money channel like Odessa)?

As stated, “Alexie Goncharenko is an obvious candidate, but he doesn’t want the role.  He is quite happy acting as President Poroshenko’s Deputy Faction leader in the Verkhovna Rada.  When speaking to him it is quite apparent he is clearly enjoying the role and would not seek the Governor position by choice – at least not now.

However, if President Poroshenko tells him he wants him to become Governor (and thus he will win the process) it is likely he would (begrudgingly) accept.

There are however other locals who are BPP affiliated and who would be happy to throw their hat into the Governor of Odessa ring and go through the transparent (not public) process – to probably emerge the winner (if coincidences are to continue).

Both Messrs Alexander Potapsky and Misha Shmuchkovych fit the BPP candidacy bill and are considered loyal.

Both of these candidates are deemed to be “Goncharenko people”.  Mr Potapsky is the current Speaker of City Hall (and becomes acting Mayor if Mr Turkhanov is long term sick – or worse) and Mr Shmuchkovych was acting Oblast Rada Chairman following Alexie Goncharenko’s departure from that role when he entered the Verkhovna Rada.

For the record, the current Oblast Rada Chairman, Anatoli Urbansky is also deemed to be a “Goncahernko man”.”

As no candidate from any other party than the president’s seems likely to be allowed to govern such an important region there were few other obvious choices – unless they came from without and yet had loyalty to, and the trust of, President Poroshenko.  As such other names were highlighted and dismissed under this caveat.

The entry concluded “unless and until those throwing their hat into the ring have done so and a major surprise is among that number.”

Now cometh the first (and perhaps only) surprise capable of keeping Alexie Goncharenko in Kyiv where he (currently) wants to be and out of the Governor’s chair in Odessa (where he currently would prefer not to be) if Mr Goncharenko is unable to advocate for one of “his people” successfully before President Poroshenko.

It appears that Yevhen Chervonenko has let it be known that should President Poroshenko (transparent process aside) be amenable, he would take on the role of Governor of Odessa.

Those outside of Ukraine and the FSU/post Communist States will probably not have heard of Mr Chervonenko – and thus it is perhaps worth writing a few preparatory lines should he manage gain the necessary presidential blessing to succeed Misha Saakashvili.

These lines are not meant to be the basis of comparisons between the two men – readers of this blog are far to erudite to put their faith and hopes in a singular politician.  It is institutions, process, structure that ultimately build sustainable and consolidated governance.  Practical and systemic central policy implementation as an Oblast Governor is as important as the local initiatives that fall within their limited powers.

Suffice to say in any comparison, they are very different in their personalities, temperament and methods of governance.

So what can be said about Mr Chervonenko?

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He is perhaps best known nationally as something of a “petrol head” and a sporting champion of the rally car genre – a sport he took very seriously and did very well at – retiring from competition only a few years ago.

Interesting as that is, a reader wants to know about his political and business history (which for most Ukrainian public figures emerging from the Soviet collapse is inseparable).  Nobody reads this blog for commentary on sport.

He was a stalwart backer of former President Yushchenko.  When the USSR collapsed, he swiftly became, and remains, one of Ukraine’s biggest freight operators/logistics empire owners.

Back in the day he also set up a drinks company called Orlan – which popular folklore would have a reader believe actually sold Ukrainian beer in far more aesthetically pleasing Polish bottles.  That same folklore would have a reader believe there was also a fair bit of smuggling via his logistics empire, beginning with red caviar but swiftly expanding into other merchandise.  There are also tales regarding “AgroInvest”, embezzlement, and some questionable activities relating to a “security firm” under his control during the Yushchenko epoch.

None of this, being folklore has much, if any, hard evidence to back it up.  Nevertheless folklore is not the same thing as myth.

Much more recently, only a few years ago in fact, several criminal cases were opened regarding nefarious activities, large scale fraud and theft regarding the Dnistra PSP project (Criminal cases 4201411000000309, 12014100000001192 and 12013100150000333 refer) in which Mr Chervonenko and long-time associates Aftanaziva Zenko and Igor Sirota feature.  The opaque manner in which those cases were closed per usual within the Ukrainian justice system, does little to decide whether there was a lack of evidence, guilt or innocence.  If rumour is to be believed then the prosecutors were (handsomely) bought off.

Anyway, as an Our Ukraine MP and whilst circling within and being part of the innermost Yushchenko orbit, Mr Chervonenko came to rub shoulders with other potential financial backers preparing for a Yushenko bid for president.  Those people included Petro Poroshenko, Mykola Martyenko, David Zhvania, Kislinsky, Rzhavsky etc – all rather (in)famous.  Some of those names decided to back Viktor Yushchenko whilst others decided against.  Clearly Me Chervonenko was very much with Mr Yushchenko.

The outcome following the inauguration of Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, was that Mr Chervonenko became the Transport Minister in the Prime Minister Tymoshenko’s government as part of the “presidential quota” of ministers, and remained very much part of the Yushchenko inner circle.

Thus Mr Chervonenko and President Poroshenko have known each other for decades – and both will be quite aware of how each other operates.  Mr Chervonenko has thrown his hat into the Odessa Governor candidate ring – the presidential response is unknown, but will obviously become apparent when a new Governor is eventually installed.

Bringing a reader to the present day, Mr Chervonenko still enjoys easy access to parliamentarians.  His logistics empire is best known for the A2B Direct brand.  He is also forward looking, launching an Uber-esque system for logistics/hauliers with some serious partners – Alpha Bank Ukraine, Kyivstar, Vostok Bank, Unison Insurance, WOG petrol stations and AsMAP.  This system is set to expand into Belarus (where Mr Chervonenko has a 51% stake in a joint venture with the Belorussian Government via SOE Gomeloblavtotrans) and beyond.

Having “retired” from rallying, albeit he will still rally, and having a business empire that can probably run itself without his personal input, is it possible for him to put these distractions to one side and become an effective, (probably business biased – not necessarily a bad thing in a particularly mercantile oblast like Odessa) Governor?

Prima facie he appears to be without any truly robust and unbreakable ties to the existing elite of Odessa.  Politically, Our Ukraine to which he belonged is long since a dead party from which perhaps former Mayor Gurvitz was the only “Orange” to make a significant impact in Odessa.

When looking at possible conflicts of interest, with a 30 year major logistics empire to his name, are there any really significant contracts within Odessa that would or could compromise him?

Clearly he has no personal need to steal from the regional budget – he is already rich.  Thus should he do so then it would be because he chose to do so rather than had to.  A reader may be inclined – or not – to set aside the smuggling folklore (and probable tax avoidance associated by extension) with a laissez faire attitude toward acts of the 1990’s/2000’s where almost no business or political angels were born – yet the fairly recent Dnistra PSP tale is certainly a cautionary one.

None of this currently matters much as it remains to be seen whether he will be blessed/cursed with the Presidential nod to succeed in the transparent selection process for the vacant role of Governor, emerging as the next overseer of the region.

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Nevertheless, his somewhat surprising interest in provincial governance has now been declared.  A hat has been thrown into the ring and Mr Chervonenko’s interest has to be taken seriously.

(Thus far of the names mentioned with regard to the vacancy, Misha Shmuchkovych would seem the best candidate.)

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