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Boris Lozhkin disappeared from the media immediately after his dismissal from the post of head of the presidential administration. And his dismissal cannot be called simple. Arab television channel Al Jazeera was interested in his 130 millionth bank transfer to an Austrian bank. And this transaction turned out to be tainted.
Boris Lozhkin tried to launder funds received from Sergey Kurchenko for the purchase of the Ukrainian Media Holding. Kurchenko paid to Lozhkin, of course, in black, but it was necessary to clean this money. Al Jazeera journalists wanted to ask the head of the Ukrainian president's administration some uncomfortable questions, but Boris Lozhkin was already dismissed. If you are discredited, it's time to leave.
But first things first.
A Little Bit about Boris Lozhkin
Judging by rumors, Boris Lozhkin is very fond of receiving and giving gifts. If you need to solve a problem with him, it is better to start with a small gift like an ink pen, a tie, a good drink, a book or gloves. Boris Lozhkin is a lucky owner of a suburban villa in Koncha Zaspa. But he comes there rarely, only on weekends. But every year he goes camping rather far away in the men's company.
Lozhkin raised his daughter Anastasia. According to the father, the girl is talented. Once she passed 11 exams to the prestigious English university UCL. Anastasia told about this to her father when she was already admitted. Anastasia took a cat Venya. Then she went to Britain to study and left the animal to her parents. As a result, Venya lived in the UMH office for a long time, wandered the floors, attended many business negotiations. It became a kind of symbol for UMH. Then the cat opened an account in social networks and moved to Bankova Street. It wrote in the account about this "itself".
Such cute details of Boris Lozhkin's personal life are overridden by the events that occurred during the sale of the country's largest media holding company.
UMH: a History of Wealth
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Boris Lozhkin earned a position in the presidential administration not in vain. Their relationship with Peter Poroshenko developed long ago. They resell media assets to each other. Long before 2014, Boris Lozhkin bought from Poroshenko half of his "Radio 5" shares, which was unprofitable, despite the good coverage. Then Lozhkin creates a profitable "Retro FM", which was controlled by Poroshenko, and Lozhkin was the managing partner. As soon as the radio became profitable, Peter Alekseevich realized that Boris Evgenievich was trustworthy. The guy copes and makes money. Why not?
Boris Lozhkin, together with the future president, tried to purchase the journal “Correspondent” from American Jed Sanden in 2004, but the American refused them. It was possible to persuade the foreign tycoon only after Yanukovych's victory in the 2010 elections.
The third general project is "Our Radio" with a familiar scheme of 50% of shares to each. Later, Poroshenko sells his shares in the radio stations “Retro” and “Next” to Boris Lozhkin, remaining a partner in “Correspondent” and “Our Radio”.
Then begins the most interesting part - the epic of selling a giant media holding to businessman Sergey Kurchenko. In this uncommon operation, a notorious investment banker Igor Mazepa, who at one time bought up shares of Ukrainian Oblenergo (regional power distribution company) cheaply for Akhmetov, helped Lozhkin.
Mazepa became the author of sales schemes. Actually, Igor Mazepa traditionally did not care about the reputation of his clients, so he acted inadvertently. The sale of UMH ended with the opening of a criminal case on Lozhkina by the Austrian prosecutor's office.
Naive Austrians sent a request to the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine with a demand to explain the origin of 130 million American dollars, which were transferred to their Austrian Raiffeisenbank from Latvia from an account owned by an offshore company affiliated with Boris Lozhkin. Austrian prosecutors were also interested in amounts of 314 and 315 million euros, which were also of incomprehensible origin.
The general prosecutor of that time ran to the head of the administration with the question: "What should I do?" And Boris Lozhkin replied, "Nothing." The General Prosecutor did this, and there was no response from Ukrainian law enforcers. But the explanation was simple. Sergey Kurchenko paid to Lozhkin traditionally in black, and Boris Evgenevich had to show this money somehow in his homeland.
However, Sergey Kurchenko also did not pay for UMH himself. He took a loan from Ukreximbank. This is a state bank and, of course, the holding became the pledge of such a loan. Now, by the way, the bank is in the orbit of Peter Poroshenko's interests and it does not take long to think who will get the most powerful media resource on the eve of the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Igor Mazepa was not particularly concerned about the reputation of Boris Lozhkin, so he turned the entire deal very quickly, and even added it on his “Concorde Capital” website as a medal.
For this, Boris Lozhkin paid with his high position. It is not the fact that he would have headed the administration to this day, but the fact remains. So after such a deal he does not have to be particularly grateful to Lozhkin’s friend Igor Mazepa. After all, even before the sale of UMH to Kurchenko, the holding had a loan of 70 million dollars. Given the market valuation, UMH should be valued at about $ 500 million, for which Kurchenko paid with Ukreximbank money, and therefore - with taxpayers’ money. After all, Ukrexim is the state bank.
Secret German Investments by Boris Lozhkin
Boris Lozhkin was engaged not only in laundering of budgetary money, but he was also responsible for attracting investments to Ukraine - he held the post of Secretary of the Council.
But something went wrong here too, because the Secretary of the Council himself invested funds not in Ukraine, but in Germany. Boris Lozhkin decided to build a good apartment complex in Germany, namely in the city of Hilden near Dusseldorf. 49% of the complex Liwon Hilden belongs to Ensitar Limited, which in turn belongs to “Samaan Capital” created by Boris Lozhkin and Andrey Pivovarsky (ex-Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine). The construction of the building for 100 apartments with commercial space and underground parking in the heart of the city will last until 2019.
The Germans are building very well, quickly and reliably. But most importantly - German real estate is very expensive and therefore, investments in construction in Germany are very profitable. Given the cost of apartments in the complex, the sale of them will bring Lozhkin tens of millions of euros.
The сontroversial "Dobrobut" Deal with Igor Mazepa
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Perhaps Boris Lozhkin is not particularly angry with his longtime companion Igor Mazepa, since he once helped him a lot in buying the largest network of private clinics in the country – “Dobrobut”.
Igor Mazepa likes to make public his achievements in the network. And this time he did not fail to do the same. Buyers of "Dobrobut" were the owner of the network "Luxoptika" Oleg Kalashnikov and Mazepa himself with his "Concorde". Mazepa bought half of “Dobrobut” for himself. Both partners had to pay 100 million for the clinic.
"Dobrobut" was supposed to go to Lozhkina in 2012. Then owner of the clinic Ruslan Demchak tried to sell the asset to Boris Lozhkin, but then it did not work. The story with UMH was delayed and Boris Lozhkin postponed the purchase of the clinic. By the way, Demchak was arrested and charged with money laundering obtained in a criminal way.
On paper, “Concord” bought the second part (40%) of the shares in 2014. However, it was only on paper. Igor Mazepa physically could not pay 100 million for "Dobrobut”, because the whole "Concord" was estimated at about 15 million hryvnias.
Boris Lozhkin was grateful for the asset acquired. A long-time associate of Mazepa's "Concorde" Roman Ivanyuk received the post of head of Ukrspirt, and Igor Mazepa entered the supervisory board of Ukreximbank.
Instead of an Epilogue
The activities of Boris Lozhkin in different manifestations raises a lot of questions. Ever since the times of the Soviet past, Boris Evgenevich can be called a very enterprising person. But it is hardly to call him honest. The concept of "honesty" in Ukrainian politics is more often a slogan during election campaigns than something real and tangible.
However, if you cut a branch on which you sit for years, or more precisely, budget funds, launder taxpayers' money from state-owned banks, use the services of outspoken fraudsters, this brunch will collapse under you sooner or later.
Boris Lozhkin was responsible for attracting investment in Ukraine, but he did not succeed to attract much. For the year of Boris Lozhkin’s leadership at the Council, it was never assembled. But at the same time, Boris Lozhkin safely invested money in Germany.
Many Ukrainian businessmen of the old school continue to work closely with any power and continue to use budget resources successfully. Boris Lozhkin is one of them - he's just so used to it.