(Image Credit: Good Tips)
Date of Birth: 13th February, 1963
Place of Residence: Kiev, Ukraine
Net Worth: USD $1.1 billion
Source of Wealth: Self Made; Banking, Investments
Education: Master of Science, Dniepropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute
Career: Founder of PrivatBank (1992); Owner of UNIAN Information Agency; Share-holder of Optima, Share-holder of Felman Productions, Share-holder of GAA; Share-holder of UkrNafta; Owner of 1+1 TV channel; Founder of UKROP Political Party; Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration(2014); Governor of Dnipropetrovsk
Social Media: N/A
Personal Website: N/A
Political Position: Right-Wing
In His Own Words:
I have no future plans in politics. (UNIAN.com 2015)
When [former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych] left, I was one of the richest people in the country – and I was a patriot. Nevertheless, I became the biggest trigger for society. And since I’ve been the biggest trigger for the whole population, and the politicians cannot promote themselves based on war, they decided to promote themselves based on me. (UNIAN.com 2015)
Beginning in 2010, Kolomoyskyi was a strong supporter of Viktor Yanukovich and his Party of Regions. On 2 March 2014, amidst the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov appointed Kolomoyskyi governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast after his renounce of the Party of Regions and promised to support a new government.
In 2015, Kolomoyskyi co-founded and headed a new political party called UKROP. Kolomoyskyi also had conflicts with the new President Viktor Yanukovich in 2015.
Politico.eu reported December of 2015 that one of the Kolomoyskyi’s political allies Hennadiy Korban was arrested under the command of Petro Poroshenko for organized crime as a warning to Kolomoyskiy himself. Kolomoyskyi was forced to step down as governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region by President Petro Poroshenko for suspicion of pursuing and supporting laws that follow the interests of Kolomoisky’s Privat Group, which owns 43 percent of shares in the oil extraction company UkrNafta, while in office in March of 2015.
The most recent political scandal that Kolomoyskyi has been involved in is in Florida, US. In September 2018, The National Republican Congressional Committee began an investigation into ties between Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and a Ukrainian oligarch named Ihor Kolomoisky. The Daily Beast has reported that one of Kolomoiskyis firms paid Powell at least $700,000 over two years, according to public records.
Floridapolitics.com further published a statement given by NRCC Communications Director Matt Gorman arguing the connections make Mucarsel-Powell vulnerable to backlash from voters come November.“Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s family got rich off a Ukrainian oligarch accused of murder-for-hire plots and now her campaign is being bankrolled by his associates.”
Overall, the amounts of money that he has donated to politics used to fund his campaigns, or to hold public office is not reported and cannot be estimated.
Lobbying & Advocacy: 10
Kolomoyskyi has many international ties to politicians and businessmen such as the Florida Congress candidate. Having held office, Kolomoyskyi has pushed a variety of different laws and even called for constitutional reforms such as the cease of raw-wood exports which affect the region he governs, and legal requirements for deputy elections. Pravda.com reports that Igor Kolomoisky believes that the said laws do not provide for the possibility of implementing the right guaranteed by the Constitution to be elected at the elections of deputies of all levels by self-nomination. –
Furthermore, he has been accused by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko of using his office to pass laws favorable to UkrNAFTA of which for 43% is owned by Kolomoyskiys PrivatBank Group.
Opinion Shaping: 10
Ihor Kolomoyskyi owns one of the most watched Ukrainian television channels 1+1. Alazeera.com reports that “[1+1] is a tool,” for Kolomoisky, says Yuri Makarov, one of Ukraine’s most highly regarded TV presenters. According to the statement given by Makarov, the channel frequently shows programming that attacks his opponents, promotes political parties affiliated with him, or shows their activities in a positive light. They further report that after Mikhail Saakashvili criticized Kolomoyskyi, 1+1 has aired programmed and commentary that lambasted Saakashvili and was consequently criticized by media experts for being biased.
UNIAN information agency owed by Kolonoyskyiwhich is influential both in Ukraine and internationally by reporting on Ukrainian politics. It is one of the first sources that Google recommends when topics concerning Ukrainian politics are searched.
In 2012, UNIAN was involved in a censorship scandal. The Kyiv Post reported that Six editors at UNIAN wrote an open protest letter to the agency’s top manager Vadym Osadchy, accusing him of allegedly applying pressure to censor and tone down their coverage of Ukraine’s leadership and to accept paid-for stories about other Ukrainian politicians ahead of the October 28, 2012, parliamentary elections.
The scandal lasted for over a year and escalated, causing The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional group, the European Federation of Journalists to step in. “We are worried that a press agency, which used to be trusted by professionals and by the public, is becoming instrumentalized by politicians,” IFJ President Jim Boumelha said in a news release.
Businessinsider.com reported in 2015 that after the beginning of armed conflicts in Ukraine, and with military funds low, Kolomoysky assembled army of volunteers, equipped with elite supplies and heavy weaponry. Estimated to have received nearly 20,000 volunteers from Ukraine, Europe, and even the USA, the Dnipro Battalion, also known as Dnipro-1, selected and provided around 2,000 heavily armed fighters to the Ukrainian Army. The unit is reported to have cost the banking billionaire $10 million to set up.
Further Reading: (Strongly recommended to read the last reading)