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Tags: ukraine | russia | war | money | fortunes | political power

Ukrainian 'Oligarchs' Losing Fortunes, Power Amid War


By    |   Monday, 02 January 2023 10:48 PM EST

The richest people in Ukraine are losing their fortunes, and by extension, their political power in that nation as the war with Russia drags on.

"For decades, Ukraine's super-rich businessmen have wielded enormous economic and political power within their home country," the BBC reported Monday. "However, since the Russian invasion, Ukraine's most infamous oligarchs have lost billions in revenue."

According to the report, enormous amounts of money are not the only thing this list of the five top Ukrainian oligarchs are losing, but also enormous political power in the country.

"Absolutely [they are losing power]," Sevgil Musayeva, editor-in-chief of popular news website Ukrainska Pravda, told the BBC. "This war is the beginning of the end for oligarchs in Ukraine."

The richest individual on the top five list, Rinat Akhmetov, reportedly lost around $9 billion of his $13.7 billion fortune since Russia invaded in February 2021, as he watched his large holding of steel and coal industry holdings reduced to ruins due to the Russian onslaught, the report said.

In addition to the military-imposed destruction since the invasion, Akhmetov, and his fellow billionaires saw Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy enact a "de-oligarchization" bill in late 2021 that put people in their positions exposed to extra governmental checks on business transactions and were banned from donating to political parties.

Zelenskyy, who ran his presidential campaign with anti-corruption as a top issue, said that the individuals were, "a group of people who think they are more important than lawmakers, government officials or judges."

"The de-oligarchization law was one of the first major triggers of their demise," Serhiy Leshchenko, formerly one of Ukraine's most prominent investigative journalists and now adviser to President Zelenskyy's chief of staff said in the report. "But as the war escalated, it made the oligarchs' life even more difficult. They have been forced to focus on survival rather than domestic politics."

According to the report, those on the list were called out by a London think-tank group in 2017 as "the greatest danger to Ukraine" for influencing the passage of legislation that befitted their own businesses, industries, and interests.

As a result, they did little to quell separatists in the eastern part of the country, instigated by Russia's Crimean invasion of 2014, leading to the current Russian actions.

As the power and fortunes dwindle in the war's wake, Musayeva told the news outlet that there is hope the country's institutions will prevent another group of oligarchs from emerging after hostilities with Russia end.

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The richest people in Ukraine are losing their fortunes, and by extension, their political power in that nation as the war with Russia drags on.
ukraine, russia, war, money, fortunes, political power
Monday, 02 January 2023 10:48 PM
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