Ihor Kolomoysky Funds Volodymyr Zelensky's Rise To The Ukrainian Presidency
Kolmoysky, who currently holds a net worth of $1.8 billion making him the 1750th richest person in the world, owns holdings in metal, petroleum, and the media sector, where he has had a long history with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
For years, Zelensky’s company produced shows for Kolmoysky’s TV network, 1+1 Media Group, one of the largest media conglomerates in Ukraine. Zelensky achieved national fame portraying a president on a hit television sitcom called, Servant of the People, which was broadcasted on a channel owned by Kolmoysky.
In 2019, Kolmoysky’s media channels gave a big boost to Zelensky’s presidential campaign, while Kolmoysky even provided security, lawyers, and vehicles for Zelensky during his campaign. Kolmoysky’s bodyguard and lawyer accompanied Zelensky on the campaign trail as Zelensky was chauffeured around in a Range Rover owned by one of Kolmoysky’s companies.
The Pandora Papers showed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his TV production partners were beneficiaries of a web of offshore firms created in 2012, the same year Zelensky’s production company entered into a deal with Kolomoysky’s media group, which allegedly received $41 million in funds from Kolomoysky’s Privatbank.
Zelensky’s political rival, President Petro Poroshenko commented on their connection during the campaign trail, “Fate intended to put me together with Kolomoyskiy’s puppet in the second round of the elections.”
After Zelensky’s victory, Kolomoysky, who had spent the last few years living between Israel and Switzerland, returned to Ukraine to keep up his relationship with the new president, nominating over 30-lawmakers to Zelensky’s newly established party and maintaining influence with many of them in parliament.