Those in power declare modest earnings, flaunt expensive watches


Oleksy Khmara

Some high-ranking Ukrainian officials’ income declarations for 2012 bear little relation to their actual possessions. Experts point to the impotence of anti-corruption legislation.

There were plenty of sardonic comments in the press about income declarations from the President’s branch of power.

These included photos posted on the Internet of the Minister for Energy and Coal Edward Stavytsky who at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers flaunted a watch worth 30 thousand EUR.  This was with an income declaration of just over 123 thousand UAH for 2012 (1 EUR = 11 UAH).

Prime Minister Azarov declared over 614 thousand UAH income, this being 200 thousand less than in 2011.  His wife drives a Lexus RX-400 crossover sport facility vehicle.

Deputy Prime Minister Yury Boiko declared over 345 thousand UAH, but gives his wife’s income as 4, 676 million UAH.

Oleksy Khmara, Head of Transparency International in Ukraine points out that those in power often register money and property in relatives’ names, front-men or hide them in offshore zones.

The President’s literary business

Some official declarations do show an increase.

The annual income of Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov who is considered close to President Yanukovych, declared income of 2.7 million UAH, with members of his family declared as receiving 13, 4 million UAH.

However the highest earnings were declared by President Yanukovych with earnings in 2012 at 20 million UAH.   This is higher than the incomes of German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama and his wife.

15 million of this figure is given as “royalties” for books.

For more information about these royalties to a printing (not publishing) company for books neither published nor, seemingly written, see

Oleksy Khmara believes that this may be a scheme to legalize wealth. “There are suggestions that in two or three years Yanukovych will accumulate enough money to private Mezhyhirya (his highly controversial residence at what was once a State residence – translator). For that he nees legal income”.

The person who has become richest in Ukraine during the years of economic crisis is Yanukovych’s elder son Olexander. He declared an income for 2012 of over 579 million UAH.

Oleksy Khmara believes that Oleksander Yanukovych’s business is a way of legalizing the income of the entire presidential family.

One of the founders of the civic movement CHESNO, Oleh Rybachuk believes that the current concept of anti-corruption legislation makes a mockery of common sense. He points out that after signing the law, Yanukovych promised that public officials would declare not only their income but their spending, yet at the present time a third of MPs have refused to provide any declarations.  Unlike Rybachuk, Oleksy Khmara believes that the current anti-corruption law can serve as a start for monitoring public officials and their income and spending. However he notes that one failing of the law lies in the difficulty of monitoring foreign capital and the property owned by public officials

From the report here


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