All three preceding presidents of Ukraine need to diverse levels made use (or possibly circulate as it should be: abuse) of those guidelines.
But the fourth one, the currently serving president Victor Yanukovych, seems to have taken this abuse to an entire new size. Partly in a literal sense: the unterschied zwischen ug und gmbh previous government house placed near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv within the region referred to as Mezhyhirya is big – it measures up to 150 hectares (370 acres).
But partly because of the manner how the ownership right to the house turned into transferred from the country to a string of foreign shell businesses with clear links to Mr Yanukovych. And also due to the frantic creation pastime, financed from intransparent assets, which has taken region in the house since the president got here to electricity in 2010.
All this factors taken collectively explain why house Mezhyhirya became a byword for excessive-stage corruption in Ukraine.
A museum of kitsch almost the scale of a smallish European kingdom
As well known in Ukraine, the principle constructing in Mezhyhirya is a mansion constructed by means of a Finnish business enterprise Honka which specialises in custom-made log homes.
It is this wooden palace – three-storeyed on one facet, 5-storeyed on the other – what’s stated to be the real home of Viktor Yanukovych after its of entirety by using the stop of 2010.
The Honka-palace is surrounded through a park with exotic flowers and artificial lakes. The Google Maps’ satellite view affords proof that every one the development works have been finished within 12 months after the president had taken office.
Around the principle building there are an underground capturing variety, a bowling and an indoor tennis courtroom in addition to health facilities.
Currently, beyond the region where Honka-palace is placed there’s a big empty area included via sand. As these days as last yr it become covered by means of vineyards but they had been axed away. Now a golf course is being in a timely fashion constructed right here.
This golf path is definitely going to be one of the maximum prominent landmarks on Mezhyhirya’s right. Mr Yanukovych as soon as admitted to the journalists that he loves golf and showed his series of golfing golf equipment.
Golf is a cultured amusement requiring huge investments. According to the expert internet site golfing.Ru the average production fee of an 18-hole golfing path range from to 3 million Euros. Complementary infrastructure goes to cost more or less the same quantity all over again.
During 2011 a helipad and a hangar have emerged on a hitherto empty patch of land. The helicopter itself, in step with a preceding investigation by means of Ukrainska Pravda, is being rented from a agency known as Tsentravia. Interestingly, this enterprise is interlinked with entities which pose as nominal owners of Mezhyhirya. The condominium payments for the helicopter are comprised of the public handbag.
Close to the helipad any other massive white building has sprung up due to the fact ultimate year – a parking to house a collection of motors belonging to the president. The parking is said to have a capacity of as much as 70 motors.
A yacht marina is also being constructed nearby. Interestingly, the yacht hangar is being built at the land plot adjacent to the residence. This method that the residence’s proprietors have were given their hands onto another plot of kingdom land, however already out of doors of the house – simply next to the reservoir of Kyiv Hydro-Accumulating Power Station.
Next to the yacht hangar a brand new fireplace station has also been constructed.
Initially the yacht marina changed into planned at another website – a small artificial bay on the house’s shore. But now that bay is occupied with the aid of a “palace on water”. This is a barque with finishing of gold leaves, crystal, marble and rare sorts of wood.
It is on this “palace on water” in which the president has all he needs to expose off his talent as a karaoke-singer, according to one tale instructed by a former bodyguard.
Close to the (fairly small) two-storeyed building, where Mr Yanukovych used to stay until the development of Honka-palace has been completed, a horse strong and a driving variety are being completed.
Also over the past 12 months a three-storeyed workplace constructing has sprang up close to the principle front to Mezhyhirya. It shelters a plethora of corporations liable for facility-carrier: construction, landscaping, looking after protection and cleansing.
The obscure proprietors of the house continue working on it. Most latest information which Ukrainska Pravda acquired from honest assets provides an perception of what is still taking place behind the residence’s huge fence. Last summer season a barge of beaten stone has been ordered for the residence’s desires from a Poltava region stone-pit. Such stone is normally being utilized in shore-protective and hydro-engineering works.
Guarded like a fortress
The land borders of the residence are shielded off with the aid of a six-meter (!) fence (it really is almost 20 toes!). The journalists were capable of estimate the peak of the fence through measuring it up against a police bus “Bogdan”.
This police bus so near the fence of Mezhyhirya is a conundrum of its own. That is because Yanukovytch keeps he has not anything to do with the complete residence and privately owns handiest an (already stated above) small house on a small patch of land inside it (1.76 hectares or four.35 acres; although the fee he supposedly has paid for this property remains a carefully guarded mystery).
Nevertheless for a few reason the unique police troops in the bus do not focus on that small patch of land, but shield the complete define, which runs for plenty kilometres of the supposedly privately-owned house. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine responded to the legitimate request by means of pronouncing that special police troops “protect the civic order and avenue traffic safety around the region wherein a person requiring safeguarding by the kingdom lives”.
The waterfront of Mezhyhirya is very well guarded too.
In a yacht membership on the opposite facet of Kiev water reservoir (also known as Kyiv sea) the correspondent of Ukrainska Pravda become informed that after the election of Mr Yanukovych to the presidency, they had been visited by means of the representatives of the Department of State Guard who compelled them to sign an obligation now not to approach the beaches of Mezhyhirya and now not to take any journalists on board.
However such regulations on water do not examine to those inside the air.
Ukrainska Pravda determined out that the gap above Mezhyhirya was lately assigned the status of a no-fly quarter.
The Ukrainian State Air Traffic Service Enterprise in reaction to a request via Ukrainska Pravda maintained that the no-fly zone reputation of the area isn’t always associated with Mezhyhirya however to the Kyiv Hydroelectric Station (Kyiv HES) close by.
But this assertion contradicts the information: a close have a look at the aeronautical map famous that the no-fly sector is focused now not on Kyiv HES, however exactly on Mezhyhirya.
Moreover, in keeping with the assets of Ukrainska Pravda, first of all flying changed into certainly prohibited best above the HES, but after Mr Yanukovytch has taken the presidential office the no-fly sector changed into extended to include Mezhyhirya and, seemingly for extra safety, even multiple kilometres beyond it.
This again discredits the legitimate version according to which Mr Yanukovych has nothing to do with Mezhyhirya and simply owns a small house inner it.
Murky intermediaries providing cowl to the true owners of Mezhyhirya
Viktor Yanukovych keeps to vigorously deny any link to the “eighth Wonder of the World” sprawling at the shore of Kyiv sea in the village of Novi Petrivtsi. When puzzled approximately house Mezhyhirya at a media convention in July 2011 he advocated addressing this query to Mezhyhirya’s owners “who stay overseas”.
“…If you want [to talk to] the landlords – look for them. I am sure they may turn up. Sometimes they visit Ukraine…” – said Mr Yanukovych.
Heeding the president’s advice Ukrainska Pravda started out its research into the character of these “overseas landlords”. The effects received were unsettling – all the “landlords” have attributes of shell entities and their simplest cause appears to be to cover the authentic owners.
Pointing out that the proprietors of Mezhyhirya come from overseas, Mr Yanukovych without a doubt caught to the legit version that the house belongs to Tantalit Ltd., a Kyiv organization, 99.97% of which might be owned by using Euro East Beteiligungs GmbH, an Austrian firm.
So in truth the president himself in a roundabout way admitted that Tantalit is only a formal paper entity.
Yet judging by its stability sheet Euro East Beteiligungs GmbH additionally infrequently looks like a decent company: its cash holdings are tons smaller than its debt which, in turn, is 600 instances larger than its equity! And according to its annual document it has no longer a unmarried worker.
So this organisation is only a letterbox which channels money and conceals the real proprietors.
Dubious proprietors from Vienna, London and Vaduz
Until recently the equity stakes of Euro East Beteiligungs GmbH had been divided up between proprietors: 65% of it belonged to Euro Invest Bank AG, also from Austria, and the ultimate 35% – to Blythe (Europe) Ltd., integrated in London.
Euro Invest Bank is a own family business of Johann Wanovits. In change for a fee they offer to behave as nominal proprietors for clients who want to maintain their anonymity. For example, it changed into also Mr Wanovits who helped some other pair of Ukrainian politicians – the Klyuev brothers, to installation their business in Austria.
Lately but lifestyles has now not been easy for Mr Wanovits – he stands accused of rate manipulations of Telecom Austria stocks.