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31.12.2012
source: forbes.ua

The President’s guaranteed luxury

   

Lesya Ivanova and Yury Nikolov from Nashi Hroshi [Our Money] write that since the end of the year is the time for taking stock, and since the President will doubtless tell the country in his New Year speech how much he’s done for the country, they have decided to see what the country has done for the President.

According to their calculations, the state coffers have forked out 635 million UAH on ensuring comfortable conditions for the President’s work just this year alone.  Since 2010 this amount is 1.42 billion UAH.

As reported here earlier, they stress that the President receives a great deal “free” and that this should also be taken into account, since four luxury Mercedes confiscated at customs, or the hunting land “given” to the President could easily be converted into revenue for the country.   The amount of hunting land, after all, is vast - 30 thousand hectares outside Kyiv, as well as some in the Crimea, which have been leased free of charge to the President’s hunting and fishing club “Kedr” for forty years. 

They note that one hectare of land for construction near the area in question costs $600 thousand.  Even if they assume that hunting land could be as much as 100 times cheaper, they still reach a figure of 1.42 billion UAH, i.e. the amount since on the President’s comfort and recreation over the last three years.

Nor are the authorities eager to share – surely public – information about how taxpayers; money is being spent.  The director of the State residence Synyohora told a TVi journalist where to go in vulgar form when the latter tried to find out why the residence was now off limits.

As recently reported, the budget is equally cagey with euphemistic terms used and little detail provided.

They note that Yanukovych does not appear to trust the taste of his predecessors, and for the third year running the State residence Synyohora in the Ivano-Frankivsk  oblast has been “improved”.  To the tune of 246 million UAH.

Nor are the official titles for this expenditure necessarily what it was spent on. In not one of the cases that they consider did the contractor provide the technical scope. While this is not required by law, in at least one case there are good grounds, as a TVi journalist discovered, for believing that the money was not spent as stated – on renovation of a summer house (which workers say is not there at all)  but on a restaurant in time for New Year festivities.

The President’s seaside

There are 11 Presidential dachas in the Crimea and over the last three years comfortable conditions for the Head of State’s relaxation time have cost more than a third of a billion.

Five dachas were done up; with roads to them being improved; two had helicopter landing areas ordered.  Around 5 million went on running expenses.

In 2012:

Construction work  78.93 million UAH;

Running expenses 4.87 million UAH;

Petrol                         6.78 million UAH

The President’s hunting

A 12 kilometre fence

122 million spent on improving the road from Kyiv to the Dnipro-Teteriv Forest.

Then in October, as reported, it was learned that the Kyiv Regional State Administration has leased over 30 thousand hectares of public property in the Dnipro-Teteriv Forest to the Kedr Society of Hunters and Fishermen which is closely associated with President Yanukovych. 

Nor is this the only hunting lodge which the President has at his disposal.

In 2012: 123.39 million UAH were spent on repairs; roads; cars; running expenses and petrol.

Add another 6.55 million UAH for the President’s fishing.

39.56 million UAH on cars;

95.33 million UAH on air travel;

Receiving guests, reconstruction of the Maryinsky Palace, etc – around 190 million UAH;

49.61 million UAH on the President’s staff (working in the President’s Administration and in the Department for Management of Affairs [“DUS”}.

From a much more detailed report on expenses first published by Forbes.ua

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