10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ihor Kolomoyskyy

Today, we’re going to delve into the world of Ihor Kolomoyskyy. A billionaire Ukrainian businessman and former governor, Kolomoyskyy’s enigmatic personality and controversial business ventures have made him a subject of intrigue on both the international and domestic front. Here are the ten things you might not know about Ihor Kolomoyskyy.

1. He’s One of the Richest People in Ukraine

Kolomoyskyy, as of 2021, is the third richest man in Ukraine. His wealth predominantly comes from his interests in various sectors, including energy, metal, finance, and media. Reports even suggest that his net worth is estimated to be over $1 billion.

It’s important to note that his path to riches was not straightforward. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kolomoyskyy took advantage of the privatization wave, acquiring key assets at throwaway prices. These purchases form the backbone of his present wealth.

2. He Co-founded Ukraine’s Largest Bank

In 1992, Kolomoyskyy co-founded PrivatBank, which grew to become Ukraine’s largest bank. It provides services to more than half of the Ukrainian population and holds one-third of the country’s total banking assets.

However, controversy ensued when the bank was nationalized in 2016, following allegations of large-scale fraud. Allegedly, billions of dollars were siphoned off into the pockets of insiders, including Kolomoyskyy himself.

3. He’s a Media Tycoon

In addition to his other business interests, Kolomoyskyy also owns significant stakes in several media outlets. He is the owner of the popular TV channel, 1+1 Media Group. This media empire has undoubtedly solidified his influence in Ukraine.

Not only that, but his media interests have also helped him maintain his political influence. He has often used his media outlets to support political allies and criticize adversaries.

4. He’s Been a Governor

Kolomoyskyy’s vast economic influence allowed him to venture into politics. In 2014, he was appointed the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region in Eastern Ukraine. During his tenure, he played a crucial role in repelling separatist movements.

Despite his successes, his governing style provoked controversy, leading to his removal in 2015. His tenure was marked by the heavy-handed application of private militias to maintain order.

5. He Holds Multiple Citizenships

Kolomoyskyy is known to hold multiple citizenships. Besides his Ukrainian citizenship, he also reportedly holds Israeli and Cypriot passports. This multi-citizenship stance has stirred controversy in Ukraine, where dual citizenship is not legally recognized.

Regardless, he has defended his position, arguing that as a Jew, taking up Israeli citizenship, and as a businessman, opting for Cypriot citizenship for ease of doing business in the European Union, were both logical decisions.

6. He Has Been Accused of Corporate Raiding

Over the years, Kolomoyskyy has faced several accusations of corporate raiding. He is reputed for engaging in aggressive takeovers and has been involved in various high-profile asset disputes.

One of the most notable cases involved his alleged takeover of a steel plant in 2006. This has led to several legal battles, including some on international platforms.

7. He Has Philanthropic Interests

Despite his controversial image, Kolomoyskyy is also known for his philanthropic efforts. Particularly, he has contributed towards the Jewish community in Ukraine.

He has financed the construction of synagogues and Jewish schools. Furthermore, during his tenure as governor, he played a crucial role in springing to the defense of the Jewish community, amidst rising threats of anti-Semitism.

8. He’s Been Involved in International Legal Disputes

Kolomoyskyy has a reputation for fierce litigation, involving himself in several international legal disputes. Most notable is his ongoing battle against the Ukrainian government over the nationalization of PrivatBank.

His battles have also extended to the US, where he is defending himself against allegations of money laundering. These legal battles mirror his aggressive business style.

9. He’s Highly Influential in Ukrainian Politics

Kolomoyskyy is not only a prominent businessman, but also a significant political player in Ukraine. His widespread economic influence has allowed him to wield tremendous power in the political arena.

His political affiliations and media clout have often been used to sway public opinion in favor of his interests, effectively making him a kingmaker in Ukrainian politics.

10. He Has Been Sanctioned by the U.S.

In 2021, Kolomoyskyy faced sanctions from the U.S. government due to accusations of corruption. The U.S. government claims that Kolomoyskyy’s corrupt practices undermined Ukraine’s democratic processes and institutions.

Despite this setback, Kolomoyskyy continues to maintain his influence and strength both in Ukraine and abroad.

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