Ihor Kolomoyskyi

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This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Valeriyovych and the family name is Kolomoyskyi.
Ihor Kolomoyskyi
Ігор Валерійович Коломойський
Ihor Kolomoyskyi.png
Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast
In office
2 March 2014[1] – 24 March 2015
Preceded by Dmytro Kolesnikov[2][3]
Succeeded by Valentyn Reznichenko (acting)[4]
Personal details
Born (1963-02-13) February 13, 1963 (age 52)
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union[5]
Citizenship Ukraine
Israel[6]
Cyprus[7]
Spouse(s) Irina
Children Anzhelika[8] and Grigory
Alma mater Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute[1]
Profession Co–Founder of PrivatBank
IncreaseUS$1.45 billion (May 2015)[9]

Ihor Valeriyovych Kolomoyskyi (Ukrainian: Ігор Валерійович Коломойський; Russian: Игорь Валерьевич Коломойский, Igor Kolomoisky; born February 13, 1963) is a Ukrainian-Cypriot-Israeli business oligarch of Jewish descent and the former Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[10]

A multibillionaire, Kolomoyskyi is rated as the second or third richest person in Ukraine (after Rinat Akhmetov and/or Viktor Pinchuk) since 2006.[11][12] and 377th richest person in the world by the Forbes (as of 2011).[9] In March 2015 The Economist listed his net worth as $1.36 billion.[13] Kolomoyskyi is the leading partner of the Privat Group and a de facto chairman of the FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.[14]

Name[edit]

Ihor Kolomoyskyi's name in English is also spelled as Igor/Ihor Kolomoyskyi/Kolomoysky/Kolomoisky/Kolomoiskiy/Kolomoyskiy.

Kolomoyskyi is often nicknamed Benya (Беня) (which is a Russian-Jewish short name popular in the early 20th century) and Bonifatsiy after a character in the popular Russian animated film "Каникулы Бонифация" ("Bonifacy's holidays") made in 1965 by Soyuzmultfilm, whose image is visually similar to Kolomoyskyi's in appearance and hairstyle.

Biography[edit]

Kolomoyskyi was born in a Jewish family of engineers. Kolomoyskyi graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute in 1985.[5] He is married with two children.[1][15]

Kolomoyskyi is the co-founder of the PrivatBank (and its informal Privat Group, respectively) and was appointed Chairman of its Board of Directors in 1997.[5][14] Other fields of activity include: ferroalloys, finance, oil products, mass media,[15] metal and petroleum industries (also in Russia and Romania).[16]

Kolomoysky has a triple Ukrainian-Israeli-Cyprus citizenship because dual citizenship is not recognized by Ukraine.[17][18] Kolomoyskyi explained that: "The constitution prohibits double citizenship but triple citizenship is not forbidden."[19]

Assets[edit]

Through PrivatBank he controls Aerosvit Airlines, Dniproavia and Donbassaero.[20] Through the asset management company Mansvell Enterprises Limited, he controls Skyways Express, City Airline, and Cimber Sterling aviation companies.[21] He also has media interests in the 1+1 Media Group, which operates eight Ukrainian TV channels.[13]

Part of his vast business empire is Burisma Holdings Ldt, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm. Shortly after Russia annexed Crimea, while U. S. Vice-President Joe Biden was engaged in diplomatic talks with Ukraine, Burisma announced that Hunter Biden joined the board of the company.[22]

Kolomoyskyi is a billionaire listed in 2007 by Forbes as the 799th-richest man in the world (with 3.8 billion dollars,[23] in 2010 Kyiv Post estimated his wealth at $6.243 billion.[24]) In March 2012 Forbes placed him 377th with $3 billion.[11] In 2010 Kyiv Post listed Kolomoyskyi as the second richest person in Ukraine;[24] in 2012 Forbes rated him the third richest person in Ukraine.[11] In these lists Kolomoyskyi has only been surpassed in wealth by Rinat Akhmetov or/and Viktor Pinchuk.[11][12] In March 2015, after the sharp decline in the value of the Ukrainian hryvnia, The Economist listed his net worth as $1.36 billion.[13]

Since 2010 rumors were circulating that Kolomoiskyi's assets were coming under pressure from the authorities.[24] Kolomoiskyi controls his business empire from Switzerland.[25]

Kolomyski has used Privat's "quasi-military forces" to enforce hostile takeovers of companies, sending a team of "hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws" to forcibly take over a Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006,[26] and has used "a mix of phony court orders (often involving corrupt judges and/or registrars) and strong-arm tactics" to replace directors on the boards of companies he purchases stakes in.[27] Kolomyski was criticized by Mr Justice Mann in a court case in London involving an attempted hostile takeover of an oil company, with the judge stating that Kolomyski had "a reputation of having sought to take control of a company at gunpoint in Ukraine" and that there were "strong grounds for doubting the honesty of Mr Kolomoisky".[28]

Kolomoyskyi and Ukrainian politics[edit]

Analysts have listed Kolomoyskyi as an ally of Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko and her Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko.[5] Although according to RIA Novosti (in January 2010), Kolomoysky relations with Tymoshenko "were soured some time ago, probably due to his refusal to finance Tymoshenko's election campaign" in 2010.[25][29] Croatian newspaper Nacional claimed in September 2007 that Kolomoyskyi had become an ally of (then) Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko and had financed Yushchenko's Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc.[16]

In the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election Kolomoyskyi was perceived as being one of UDAR’s main sponsors.[25][30] This has been denied by UDAR.[31]

Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast[edit]

On 2 March 2014, amidst the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov appointed Kolomoyskyi governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[32] Two days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Kolomoyskyi as a "unique crook," and said that the citizens of Dnipropetrovsk were not happy with his appointment as Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[10] In contrast, The Daily Beast, a US publication, wrote in mid-June 2014 that Kolomoyskyi enjoyed the local population's strong support.[33]

In April 2014 Kolomoyskyi offered a bounty for the capture of Russian-backed militants and incentives for the turning in of weapons.[34] He also is believed to have spent $10 million to create the Dnipro Battalion,[33][35] and also funds the Aidar, Azov, Dnepr 1, Dnepr 2, and Donbas volunteer battalions.[36]

Russia is asking for Kolomoyskyi to be put on Interpol's wanted list.[37] On 2 July 2014 a Russian District Court authorized his arrest in absentia for "organizing the killing of civilians".[38]

In March 2015, after the dismissal of Oleksandr Lazorko, who was a protege of Kolomoyskyi, as a chief executive of UkrTransNafta, Ukraine's state-owned oil pipeline operator, men reported to be Kolomoyskyi's personal militia raided the UkrTransNafta's headquarters to expel the new government-appointed chief from the office. While Lazorko was in charge the state-owned pipelines had been delivering oil to an Kolomoisky-owned refinery in preference to competitors.[13][39] According to Kolomoyskyi the raids were done with the aim to protect the companies from raiders and he related to it as a "PR-stunt to improve the ratings of smaller parties".[40]

On March 25, 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree dismissing Kolomoyskyi from the post of Dnipropetrovsk RSA Head, saying "Dnipropetrovsk region must remain a bastion of Ukraine in the East and protect peace". Kolomyskyi was replaced by Valentyn Reznichenko.[13][41][42]

Kolomoyski and Jewish politics[edit]

Kolomoyski is a prominent supporter of Ukraine's Jewish community[43] and the president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine.[44] In 2010 he was appointed as the president of the European Council of Jewish Communities[45] after promising the outgoing president he would donate $14 million,[46] with his appointment being described as a "putsch"[44][45] and a "Soviet-style takeover"[47] by other EJCJ board members. After several ECJC board members resigned in protest, Kolomyski quit the ECJC and, together with fellow Ukrainian oligarch Vadim Rabinovich, founded the European Jewish Union.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c (Russian) Short bio, LIGA
  2. ^ Ukrainian president reshuffles Azarov's government, Interfax-Ukraine (24 December 2012)
  3. ^ (Ukrainian) Колєсніков Дмитро Валерійович, DA-TA
  4. ^ Ukraine governor Kolomoisky sacked after oil firm row, BBC News (25 March 2015)
  5. ^ a b c d Igor Kolomoysky Renaissance Capital
  6. ^ http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/lawmakers-want-kolomoisky-fired-after-he-snaps-at-journalist-384042.html
  7. ^ Rossier, Roland (2014-05-30). "L’oligarque " genevois " qui défie Poutine". Tribune de Genève (in French). Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  8. ^ (Ukrainian) Kolomoiskiy daughter is getting married, Tablo ID (28 June 2014)
  9. ^ a b Ihor Kolomoyskyy, Forbes list of billionaires (March 2012)
  10. ^ a b Putin Gets Personal in Ukraine, Bloomberg View (Mar 4, 2014)
  11. ^ a b c d Eight Ukrainians make Forbes magazine's list of world billionaires, Kyiv Post (8 March 2012)
  12. ^ a b Rich Man In A Poor Country, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
  13. ^ a b c d e "President v oligarch". The Economist. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Three's a crowd for Dynamo and Shakhtar, guardian.co.uk (August 28, 2007)
  15. ^ a b Ihor Kolomoysky, Kyiv Post (June 18, 2008)
  16. ^ a b Mislav Šimatović (September 25, 2007). "100 richest Eastern Europeans". Nacional. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ (Ukrainian) З життя українських олігархів – вілла Коломойського на Женевському озері, Ukrayinska Pravda (March 10, 2009)
  18. ^ "Up to 10yrs’ jail for dual citizenship: Ukrainian bill targets tens of thousands," RT (March 03, 2014 12:36). Retrieved March 03, 2014.
  19. ^ "Ukraine's tycoon and governor Kolomoisky confesses to holding 3 passports" ITAR-TASS (October 3, 2014 20:31). Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  20. ^ Zaitsev, Tom (2010-02-12). "Three Ukrainian carriers seek tie-up approval". Flightglobal (Reed Elsevier). Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  21. ^ Fraende, Metet (2011-07-07). "Cimber Sterling gets 165 mln DKK lifeline". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  22. ^ Katie Zezima: "Joe Biden’s son discharged from Navy Reserve after positive cocaine test" (October 17, 2014 20:31). Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  23. ^ 50 richest Ukrainians, ForUm (May 29, 2007)
  24. ^ a b c #2 Richest: Ihor Kolomoisky, 47, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  25. ^ a b c "Rule by oligarchs: Kiev appoints billionaires to govern east," RT (March 03, 2014). Retrieved (March 03, 2014).
  26. ^ An Injection Of Rule Of Law For Ukrainian Business? - Forbes, 15 July 2013
  27. ^ Ukraine’s real problem: crony capitalism - The Hill, 15 Jan 2014
  28. ^ Raiders from the east: The oligarchs who won their case but took a battering - The Independent, 11 September 2013
  29. ^ Yanukovych versus Tymoshenko, RIA Novosti (January 20, 2010)
  30. ^ After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
  31. ^ Klitschko: UDAR's election campaign to cost Hr 90 million, Kyiv Post (15 September 2012)
  32. ^ Ukraine Turns to Its Oligarchs for Political Help, nytimes.com (2 March 2014)
  33. ^ a b The Town Determined to Stop Putin, The Daily Beast (12 June 2014)
  34. ^ Ukrainian oligarch offers bounty for capture of Russian 'saboteurs' - The Guardian, 18 April 2014
  35. ^ Ukraine's Secret Weapon: Feisty Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, The Wall Street Journal (June 27, 2014)
  36. ^ Damien Sharkov (10 September 2014). "Ukrainian Nationalist Volunteers Committing 'ISIS-Style' War Crimes". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  37. ^ "Russia puts Ukraine's interior minister, Dnepropetrovsk governor on int'l wanted list". Voice of Russia. June 21, 2014.
  38. ^ http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/moscow-court-sanctions-arrest-of-ukraine-tycoon-governor-kolomoisky/502854.html
  39. ^ Bershidsky, Leonid (March 20, 2015). "Ukraine's Oligarchs Are at War (Again)". Bloomberg News. 
  40. ^ Kolomoisky speaks of his inner tug-of-war and patriots from the Opposition Bloc, Kyiv Post (March 29, 2015)
  41. ^ "President signed a Decree on dismissal of Ihor Kolomoyskyi from the post of Dnipropetrovsk RSA Head". Press office of President of Ukraine. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  42. ^ Ukraine arrests two top officials at cabinet meeting, BBC News (25 March 2015)
  43. ^ Akhmetov joins Ukraine oligarchs in pledging to protect homeland - Financial Times, 2 March 2014
  44. ^ a b A necessary putsch? - Jerusalem Post, 29 Oct 2010
  45. ^ a b #2 Richest: Ihor Kolomoisky - Kyiv Post, 17 Dec 2010
  46. ^ a b European Jewish Parliament off to a semi-comedic start - JWeekly, 3 November 2011
  47. ^ Like NBA’s Nets, European Jewish group gets an oligarch, but some see Soviet-style takeover - JTA, 2 November 2010