Last week, news broke that in November Ukrainian security forces searched the home of Ihor Kolomoiskiy, a prominent billionarie who funded President Zelensky’s Presidential campaign.
“During the campaign,” the Atlantic Council reports, “Zelenskyy appointed Kolomoisky’s personal lawyer as a key adviser, traveled abroad to confer with the then-exiled Kolomoisky on multiple occasions, and benefited from the enthusiastic endorsement of Kolomoisky’s media empire. Unsurprisingly, many viewed Zelenskyy as Kolomoisky’s candidate.”
Reuters called Kolomoiskiy a former “sponsor” of Zelensky’s while referring to the search as a “war-time anti-corruption purge.”
The billionaire also previously owned the network that aired a sitcom that Zelensky played the president on before being elected the President of Ukraine.
Kolomoiskiy is now being accused of embezzling over $1 billion from two oil companies with which he was connected. Both companies were seized by Zelensky’s government in November under martial law.
Under Zelensky’s leadership in Ukraine, “government officials deemed a threat to Kolomoisky’s interests have been removed from their posts,” the Atlantic Council reports. These included Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka who was investigating Kolomoiskiy, as well as Zelensky’s first prime minister Oleksiy Honcharuk who was attempting to “loosen Kolomoisky’s control of a state-owned electricity company.”
One of the two oil companies that Kolomoiskiy was connected to, was Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that Hunter Biden sat on a board of in 2014, while his dad was Vice President.
Hunter Biden’s contact at Burisma, Vadym Pozharskyi, was reported by the New York Post in 2020 to be connected to Kolomoiskiy. In 2021, Kolomoiskiy was put under sanctions by the U.S. due to “significant corruption”. In a statement at the time, Zelensky appeared to welcome the news and declared that “Ukraine must overcome a system dominated by oligarchs” and ackowledged that “Ukraine is grateful to each partner for its support along the way.”
A month prior to the sanctions, Zelesnky bypassed pandemic restrictions in Ukraine to attend a birthday bash for Kolomoiskiy.
In 2016, then President Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was allegedly looking into Burisma. Burisma was “described as a big shell company network of a classic British kind, with ownership and control completely obfuscated”.
Kolomoiskiy, according to the Pandora Papers, gave millions of dollars to companies that were close to Zelensky and his associates.