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Ukrainian oligarchs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ukrainian oligarchs are a group of business oligarchs that emerged on the economic and political scene of Ukraine after the 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum. This period saw Ukraine transitioning to a market economy with the rapid privatization of state-owned assets. Those developments mirrored those of the neighboring post-Soviet states after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The influence of Ukrainian oligarchs on domestic and regional politics, particularly their links to Russia, have been the source of criticism from pro-Western sources critical of Ukraine’s lack of political reform or action against corruption.[1][2]

In 2008, the combined wealth of Ukraine's 50 richest oligarchs was equal to 85% of Ukraine's GDP.[3] In November 2013 this number was 45% (of GDP).[4] By 2015, due to the Ukrainian crisis and the following annexation of Crimea by Russia and the war in Donbass, the total net worth of the five richest and most influential Ukrainians at that time (Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Henadiy Boholyubov and Yuriy Kosiuk) had dropped from $21.6 billion in 2014 to $11.85 billion in June 2015.[5] (In 2014 Ukrainian GDP fell by 7%; in 2015 it shrank 12%.[6])


Oligarchs are usually defined as businessmen having direct influence on both politics and economy. During the 1990s, the oligarchs emerged as politically-connected entrepreneurs who started from nearly nothing and got rich through participation in the market via connections to the corrupt--but democratically elected--government of Ukraine during the state's transition to a market-based economy. Later numerous Ukrainian business-people have "taken over control" of political parties (examples of this are Party of Greens of Ukraine, Labour Ukraine and Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)[1]) or started new ones to gain seats and influence in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament).

The rise of the oligarchs has been connected to the processes of privatization of state-owned assets. These processes usually involved the distribution of property titles of such enterprises, land, and real estate, on equal base to the whole population of the country, through instruments such as privatization vouchers, certificates, and coupons. Given the different preferences of people in relation to risk-aversity, property titles were easily re-sold. Businessmen who could provide an initial investment capital to collect such property titles could thus easily arrive to the property of whole former public holdings.

The oligarchs' influence on the Ukrainian Government is extreme. In 2011 some analysts and Ukrainian politicians believed that some Ukrainian businesses tycoons, with "lucrative relations" with Russia, were deliberately hindering Ukraine's European Union integration.[7]

List of oligarchs by wealth

In total, the top 100 wealthiest business people in Ukraine control around $44,5 billion, according to Forbes,[8] which accounts for 27% of Ukrainian GDP in September, 2021.[9]

The top 10 Ukrainian oligarchs were identified as:

Rank Oligarch Value Notes
1 Rinat Akhmetov $7,6 billion Energy generation and distribution, coal and iron ore mining, metallurgy, media industry
2 Victor Pinchuk $2,5 billion Steel rolling, media industry
3 Kostyantyn Zhevago $2,4 million Banking, vehicle manufacturing, iron ore mining
4 Ihor Kolomoyskyi $1,8 billion Banking, crude oil
5 Henadiy Boholyubov $1,7 billion Banking
6 Oleksandr and Halyna Hereha $1,7 billion Retail
7 Petro Poroshenko $1,6 billion Vehicle manufacturing, confectionery
8 Vadym Novynskyi $1,4 billion Metallurgy, shipbuilding, Russian Orthodox Church
9 Oleksandr Yaroslavsky $820 million Real estate, metallurgy
10 Yuriy Kosiuk $780 million Agriculture, food industry

Chernenko study

An economic study by Demid Chernenko identified 35 oligarchic groups based on data points between 2002–2016:[10]

Oligarch group Owners (members) Notes
System Capital Management Rinat Akhmetov
Smart Holding Vadym Novynskyi, Andriy Klyamko
Energy Standard Kostiantyn Hryhoryshyn
Industrial Union of Donbas Serhiy Taruta, Oleh Mkrtchian, Vitaliy Haiduk
Energo Viktor Nusenkis, Leonid Baisarov
Privat Group Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Henadiy Boholyubov, Oleksiy Martynov
Group DF Dmytro Firtash, Serhiy Lyovochkin, Yuriy Boyko
Universal Investment Group Vitaliy Antonov
Azovmash Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, Arsen Ivanyushchenko
Kernel Andriy Verevskyi
Motor Sich Vyacheslav Bohuslayev
Ukrprominvest/Roshen Petro Poroshenko, Yuriy Kosiuk, Oleksiy Vadaturskyi
Nord Valentyn Landyk
Finance and Credit Kostyantyn Zhevago, Oleksiy Kucherenko
Astarta Viktor Ivanchyk, Valeriy Korotkov
Dynamo Hryhoriy Surkis, Ihor Surkis, Viktor Medvedchuk
Interpipe Victor Pinchuk
TAS Serhiy Tihipko
Konti/APK-Invest Borys Kolesnikov
Obolon Oleksandr Slobodyan
Ukrinterproduct Oleksandr Leshchinskyi
Stirol Mykola Yankovskyi
Creativ Group Stanislav Berezkin
DCH (Development Construction Holding) Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi
AVK Volodymyr Avramenko, Valeriy Kravets
Concern AVEC Oleksandr Feldman
Aval Fedir Shpig
Ukrsotsbank Valeriy Khoroshkovskyi
Pravex Leonid Chernovetskyi and his family
Forum Group Leonid Yurushev
Uvercon Eduard Prutnik
Continuum Ihor Yeremeyev, Serhiy Lahur, Stepan Ivakhiv
EpiCentre K Oleksandr Hereha, Halyna Hereha
Cascade Investment Vitaliy Khomutynnik
Naftohazvydobuvannia [uk] Nestor Shufrych, Mykola Rudkovskyi

See also


  1. ^ a b Virtual Politics - Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
  2. ^ Ukraine's New Rulers: What Do They Want?, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (June 03, 2010)
  3. ^ Kuzio, Taras (1 July 2008). "OLIGARCHS WIELD POWER IN UKRAINIAN POLITICS". Eurasia Daily Monitor. 5 (125).
  4. ^
  5. ^ "A Decisive Turn? Risks for Ukrainian Democracy After the Euromaidan". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Ukrainian economy is not terrible everywhere" – via The Economist.
  7. ^ EU Hopes Fade As Gas Lobby Triumphs, Kyiv Post (16 December 2011)
  8. ^ "100 богатейших украинцев 2021 —". (in Russian). 2021-05-06. Retrieved 2021-09-27.
  9. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". IMF. Retrieved 2021-09-27.
  10. ^ Chernenko, Demid (2018). "Capital structure and oligarch ownership" (PDF). Economic Change and Restructuring: 1–29. doi:10.1007/S10644-018-9226-9.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 November 2021, at 15:03
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