Money Laundering, Graft and Corruption: Who is Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko?
by Gregory Kolyada
The outcome of the elections was known in advance – Petro Poroshenko, was declared the winner of the race. The result will further split the country. Many regions refuse to recognize as President this chocolate king who is notorious for pocketing government money. Poroshenko has no chance to stop the bloody conflict even scrupulously carrying out all the orders given by Joe Biden, Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt. Besides, the mission of putting an end to the bloodshed has never been set by his US bosses…
Billionaire Poroshenko started his business by laundering the money of Soviet times’ administrators. He has never been an entrepreneur to start a business of his own. The story is invented. He made a head start thanks to the criminal connections of his father sentenced for large-scale theft in 1986. Having served the sentence, Poroshenko Sr. launched his own business making his son involved in the activities.
The business was dirty, it all started with the plundering of state property by armed gangs. The Poroshenko family had plans to expand the activities beyond Ukraine. Tatyana Mikoyan, a well-known Kiev-based lawyer, remembers what the family did in Transnistria,
«It was horrible back in the 1990s: illegal arms, prostitutes, drugs – all bringing profits to father and son».
Poroshenko Sr. was awarded for his merits – in 2009 he received the Hero of Ukraine decoration bought for him by his son who was part of the inner circle of President Yushenko, Godfather to Petro Poroshenko’s children.
The President-elect is well known for misappropriating budget funds. He has the reputation of someone who knows how to make money out of thin air. Many times he has been accused of being involved in large scale corruption schemes, open lobbying, embezzlement of budget allocations, tax evasion, illegal operations to acquire shares and physically threatening political opponents and competitors. Certainly he is not just another swindler but a tycoon, an owner of huge and diversified business empire.
Forbes lists Petro Poroshenko as the 130th “wealthiest person” in the world with 1, 6 billion dollars. In the past Poroshenko was a sponsor of Our Ukraine and Victor Yushchenko. His business empire also includes the 5th TV channel known for anti-Russian propaganda. Until recently his Roshen confectionary manufacturing group had earned hundreds of millions in US dollars making business in Russia. As of 2012, Roshen accounted for 3, 2% of Russian market (the 6th largest producer). He always used the money earned for anti-Russian projects.
The President-elect makes the return of Crimea to Ukraine and defending the country from «outside intervention» his foreign policy priorities. It’s hard to find anything stated in concrete terms in his program. There is nothing definite there. Instead it is full of empty calls for making a «free European state», «revive military might» etc. Many find his speeches repugnant, especially when Poroshenko starts telling stories about «patriotism», «national unity» and «protection of human rights».
Petro Poroshenko is a political chameleon. This tycoon was very cynical as he went into politics. He did it for personal enrichment. He is full of ambitions and outright lust for power but lacks a professional team to work effectively or impress public. He is rather led by greed than ideas.