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Ukraine’s Rich: Steel, Bread and Politics

In the short time that post-soviet Ukraine has allowed capitalism, several people have amassed fortunes, some transparently, some less so. UBI has been given permission to enlarge upon the rankings from this year’s Ukraine Rich List, ‘100 Richest Ukrainians Of Our Days: The First Post-Crisis Year’, first published in Russian by Korespondent

2010 sees the return of many familiar names; some fortunes have been revived and are back to their pre-crisis tally of zeros, and some businessmen have diversified into more crisis-prone industries.

Like any rich list, UBI recognises that the

following is only an approximation of the actual situation. Korespondent, one of the most respected Ukrainian magazines, teamed up with Dragon Capital to estimate the worth of the top hundred businessmen and women. These estimates can be significantly different from the figures published using other methods of calculation and evaluation of assets, for example, those used by Forbes magazine or by the Polish Wprost are different. Neither of these lists or indeed this on, is, or can be, absolutely correct. The reader should therefore allow for a large margin of error dependent upon how assets are valued, and even the level of public acknowledgment of ownership – likely to become an increasing problem in the

future when personal tax levels will need to be reconciled with reported owned- company performance.

Nonetheless, Korespondent’s list provides

a fascinating illustration of the business community in Ukraine.

Here we look at the first 50 of

Korespondent’s list with a brief profile, with No 1 – Rinat Akhmetov – profiled in more detail on page 25. We have tried to include the year and place of birth, where possible, to show the regional spread of wealth and underline the youth of Ukrainian capital. Again, where possible, we have also noted the party affiliations and government/legislature positions of the richest Ukrainians.

In the changing landscape of Ukrainian politics keeping track of movements

between business and politics is not an easy task. But it is obvious that most rich Ukrainians are closely linked to one or another political force or a succession of forces.

“The wealth of an average member of

the new power team is probably ten times as much as during any other government.” the former advisor to presidents Kuchma and Yushchenko and the President of the Centre for Economic Development, Oleksandr Paskhaver, told UBI. “We are seeing an almost complete confluence of the oligarchy and power.”

On this list there are members of

parliament, deputy Prime Ministers, and, unusually, SBU (Security service of Ukraine) chief Valeriy Khoroshkovsky (No. 14).

October/November 2010 UkraineBusiness insight 27

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