Lifestyles of the rich and famous Ukrainian civil servants


March 19, 2015
The Freelance Bureau
Translated by Kristina Rus

The well-being of the “Ukrainian people” is improving

Freelance Bureau: 2014 additions – assets of Poroshenko, penthouse of Avakov, the estate of ex-defense Minister Geletey, real estate of a runaway Prosecutor Makhnitsky 

“The Ukrainian people are rapidly plunging into poverty – [according to the modest] official macroeconomic forecasts for 2015 the GDP will fall 11.9% and inflation will be 42.8%; by the end of 2014 total state debt of Ukraine has reached 71.5% of the GDP. However, the Ukrainian elites have no reason to worry.

The profit from the business, which Peter Poroshenko promised to sell during the election campaign has tripled. At the entrance to Kiev signs will direct guests of the capital not only to downtown Kiev, but also to “Roshen” shops.

The son of the Minister of Interior Avakov, purchased a huge penthouse in the center of Kiev with a magnificent view. The luxury complex has everything: from a spa to dry cleaning, even a Japanese garden with fountains. His neighbors are the family members of the SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko and Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Alexander Turchynov.

But the former Defense Minister of Ukraine, Valery Geletey, nicknamed “Ilovaisky” decided to follow a different trend and became the owner of the estate in neo-colonial style in Lincolnshire for 23 million pounds. Here dwells the daughter of former President Kuchma, the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, as well as a on-the-run Prosecutor Makhnitsky from the party “Svoboda”, who had enough money not only for London apartments, but to buy hotel “Hyatt” in the center of Kiev…


During his election campaign, the newly elected head of state Petro Poroshenko promised to sell his entire business, once he became President. That didn’t work out.

Recently in an interview with TV channel “1+1” Poroshenko accused Russia of another “evil deed” – for hindering the sale of the company “Roshen”. “Muscovites” are out of control: the Kiev Confectionery Factory “Roshen” completed 2014 with net profit of 34.8 million UAH. This is approximately 8.9 times more then in 2013, as reported in the information disclosure system of the national commission on securities and stock market.

According to “Izvestia”, companies close to the President of Ukraine are selling Chinese cars in Russia, have a starch business in Lipetsk, and supply batteries for VAZ car assembly plants. The business of the President is growing in his native Ukraine. In the summer, for example, a company, owned by Poroshenko, acquired Kiev Factory of Experimental Designs.

Businesses owned by Poroshenko

It is not easy to make the list all of the assets of Petro Poroshenko – its “Roshen”, Ukrainian group “Bogdan“, as well as media, agro-business, shipbuilding and a small financial sector. According to Forbes, the President occupies the sixth place among the Ukrainian oligarchs and manages assets worth $1.3 billion, reports with reference to Insider.

Poroshenko’s assets are managed by the Closed Non-diversified Corporate Investment Fund “Prime Assets Capital” (ZNKIF), established in 2005. According to information of the State Register of Legal Entities, 100% of the shares of the Fund are owned by Petro Poroshenko, and it is headed by his father, Alexey.


The 25-year-old son of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Alexander Avakov, bought a six-room apartment in a luxury residential complex “Alpine” in Kiev last year, three months after the appointment of his father Arsen Avakov as head of the Interior Ministry. This was reported by “Nashi Groshi” with reference to the “Beautiful House”

According to the Ukrainian edition of “Observer”, the Minister’s son purchased a home on particularly advantageous terms. Square meter of the elite apartment cost 2.5 times cheaper than the market value. If you believe his father, Sasha shelled out $980 per square meter, although recently the apartments were sold for $2500-3500. The apartment may cost about a million dollars.

And this while his father huddled in 11 meters! After the Ukrainian media have published information about the apartment of Alexander Avakov, Avakov Sr. decided, without waiting until April 1, to disclose his income statement for 2014. 

“I live in Kiev in Kiev Hotel” in a room of 11.5 m2 – wrote the Minister on his Facebook. – I have enough – a bed, a desk, wifi, and a coffee maker…”

At the same time, the apartment of Alexander Avakov, as the journalists of “Observer” found out, is a two level penthouse. In his penthouse there are 5 bedrooms, a living room, an office, dressing room and a kitchen-dining room. Ceiling height: 3.3 m. Panoramic windows overlook the city center. On the second floor of the apartment there are two attic spaces. The apartment comes with two parking spaces underground. Right under the Avakov’s porch there is a fitness center with a swimming pool and a spa. In addition, the complex has dry cleaning, a Japanese garden with a fountain and a children’s playground.

Avakov Jr. has no neighbors, because his apartment occupies the entire floor. But there are plenty famous neighbors throughout the building, such as the family members of NSDC Secretary Aleksandr Turchynov, SBU head, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, former head of the State Tax Administration, Papaika and other dignitaries.

In 2014 Alexander Avakov has been criticized by the public for not joining the military service. Therefore, in August 2014, the son of the Minister posted a few photos with the soldiers of the battalion “Kiev-1”, consisting of members of the metropolitan police, writes “Ukrainian Pravda”. Now this allows his father to claim that the son volunteered for the ATO.


The former Defense Minister of Ukraine, Valery Geletey purchased a property in neo-colonial style in Lincolnshire for 23 million pounds, writes

Former Minister of Defense of Ukraine, nick-named “Ilovaisky,” after the defeat to the militia of Novorossia in the city of Ilovaisk, had long been blamed for his wealth. In the article “Mischief and connections of Geletey” the Freelance Bureau claimed that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine was headed by the man who was caught in a number of high-profile scandals, fraud, corruption and cover-up of criminal kingpins.

Occupying a high position and receiving an average annual salary of $40 thousand, Geletey indirectly through his wife and daughter – acquired real estate with a total area of over three thousand square meters, also wrote “”. The vehicle collection of the family of Valery Geletey is estimated at three million euros. That’s not all: his wife Angela ownes a yacht, two boats and a helicopter.

Later Geletey explained to the Ukrainian media that these were the gifts of businessmen friends. However, journalists believe that such premium gifts to an official were bribes for promotion of business interests with the use of official position.


The unstable situation in Ukraine is forcing many to leave the country in search of peace and tranquility, writes “”. Not the last place on the list of cities were wealthy Ukrainians settle is the British capital.

The richest Ukrainian – Rinat Akhmetov owns more than one property in the exclusive areas of London. The daughter of former President Kuchma, Elena Pinchuk, settled here as well – she lives in an estate valued $1.58 billion. According to information circulated in the British press, in the estate that was originally a school for noble girls, there are ten bedrooms with bathrooms, a swimming pool, a gym, a sauna, a cinema. In addition – modern art, beloved by the husband of Helena, Victor Pinchuk. There is also a panic room in case of danger.

It is noteworthy that the residence of Prince William, according to experts, comes only second. The Victorian era building, owned by the Pinchuk family, had eclipsed the property of the royal family.

Victor and Elena Pinchuk


The former Prosecutor Makhnitsky from the “Svoboda” party decided to join the Ukrainian diaspora in London. After he was dismissed from the GPU, the Prosecutor has bought a home on the banks of the Thames (and at the same time bought a luxurious hotel “Hyatt” in the center of Kiev). This was announced by the Ukrainian writer Irena Carpa on TV channel Inter alleging fraud by the former acting Prosecutor General, and asked the Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema to investigate the activities of his predecessor in office.

The speedy move of the recent head of the GPU from the Pechersk Hills to the shores of the Foggy Albion was caused not only by the possible criminal prosecution for covering up corruption schemes of Levochkin-Firtash group, but threats on his life from the former colleagues, writes

As it became known by the Ukrainian journalists, in June Oleg Makhnitsky cancelled almost a completed deal for the purchase of an entire floor in one of the club houses of the elite quarter “Novopecherskie Lypky”, located in Kiev on the Mikhail Dragomirov street. And almost immediately he contacted some of world’s leading real estate companies: Savills, Peter Kempf International and London Relocation Consultancy. 

As a realtor said on condition of anonymity, the former official asked to find him not a very expensive (of course by London standards) house somewhere in a quiet and convenient place of the British capital. Among the details it was reported that the client intends to obtain a residence permit, by buying property and investing £ 750,000 in the securities of the Bank of England.

Just in two weeks the rel estate agents found a suitable apartment in Belgravia (Westminster, South-West of Buckingham Palace), one of the most fashionable areas of London. Only for 5 657 000 euros a nice three-story house on Burton-Muse street was found – with four bedrooms, a fireplace and a private garden. Which is really inexpensive by the standards of Belgravia, where it’s hard to find even the average prices (not to mention economy class).

However, the beloved daughter Mariana interfered into the plans of Makhnitsky of setting up a home nest. The former freshman of Lvov National University already applied to the City University of London – one of the most prestigious universities in Britain, where she was going to study the international commercial law. And to match the level of her future classmates and to lead an active student life, Mariana expressed a desire to live separately from her parents.

As a result Makhnitsy-seniors were forced to buy their daughter a cozy apartment in the district of Imperial Wharf, located between two prestigious areas of London – Chelsea and Fulham. Two bedrooms, stylish design, the view from the balcony of the third floor of the Thames, close to the famous shopping center “Fulham Broadway” and a fitness center “Harbor Club”, which became famous thanks to Princess Diana – and all this for just half a million euros!

In connection with unexpected expenses, the Makhnitsky couple decided to look for a more modest home. At the moment they are concerned about the choice between a cottage in a less prestigious North London, near Mill Hill (€ 3,393,000 for 8 bedrooms, a fireplace and a beautiful garden with a terrace) … 

… and an elegant old mansion in the exclusive area of Chiswick, near Bedford Park (€ 3,524,000 for 3 bedrooms, 2 fireplaces, a private garden and a guest house, converted to a gym).

Likely the family will not delay with the purchase of housing and paperwork for permanent residence, because in Ukraine the head of the family expects big problems.

One of the problems is related to a criminal case about the so-called “Boyko rigs” – two drilling rigs, purchased in 2010 by  “RosUkrEnergo” for the needs of the state company “Chernomorneftegaz” for notoriously inflated prices (the “pork” amounted to over $300 million). The Prosecutor General Makhnitsky not only did not prosecute the top owners of “RUE” (oligarch Dmitry Firtash, the former head of the presidential administration Sergey Levochkin and former Minister of Energy, Yuriy Boyko), but saved from the blow the main defendant in the case – the former chairman of the board of “Chernomorneftegaz,” Valery Yasyuk, clearing him of any criminal activities.

As far as we know, the current head of the Prosecutor General’s office intends to find out the reasons why this case was not prosecuted, at one time causing an international outcry, writes And now Makhnitsky risks accusations of corruption and a real prison term.

KR – All of this while many retirees have only a dollar left (30 UAH) after the payment of utilities after inflation, devaluation of the hryvnia, a new tax on retirement benefits and a hike in utility rates since 2014. 

Some in Ukraine joke that Ukrainian people will need 10 more years of hard work just to live like they did during Yanukovich.

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