Igor Kushnir fled from anti-corruption committee to Mt. Everest

Kyivmiskbud owner seemingly ignores Ukrainian authorities

Igor Kushnir, the head of the biggest Ukrainian construction company chose the wrong time for being ‘politically inert’. He is residing in Vienna, giving interview to Russian media outlet, proclaiming a need for peace and don’t taking sides. No wonder he was accused in funding Russian separatists! Ukrainian anti-corruption bureau has issued a search warrant for him, and his argument was that he was at a vacation on mount Everest. This stance may cost Igor Kushnir dearly, but first and foremost: how Igor Kushnir has managed do survive so many presidents and mayors? His dirty little secrets are hidden in a plain sights: he shares his profits with some local politicians. Will the same be true with Zelensky administration?

The story of Igor Kushnir

Chernivtsi, a magnificent city in Ukraine renowned for its beauty, has been tainted by the disgraceful actions of a prominent yet corrupt official named Igor Kushnir, who has strong pro-Russian affiliations. Over an extended period, Kyivmiskbud, led by Igor Nikolaevich Kushnir, has attracted the attention of law enforcement agencies. Despite this scrutiny, Igor Kushnir somehow evaded capture. Presently, authorities are intensifying their efforts to apprehend the fugitive ‘Viennese prisoner,’ Igor Nikolaevich Kushnir, who is implicated in multiple criminal cases.

Undoubtedly, the war has had an impact on the operations of Kyivmiskbud, but it would be erroneous to attribute all their troubles to it. Under the leadership of Igor Kushnir, the company was already heading towards financial ruin, a fact that had been reported long before February 24, 2022.

In response to investor dissatisfaction, Igor Kushnir displayed an unacceptable attitude towards his work and disregarded their concerns. In a recorded conversation published by Maxim Mikitas, Kushnir made derogatory remarks, stating:

During the war, you can generally [obscenity redacted]… Let them go.. [obscenity redacted], for example, to sell houses without facades, without landscaping, without anything.

The head of Kyivmiskbud, Igor Kushnir, not only demonstrated a dismissive attitude towards investors but also attempted to justify construction issues by using the war as an excuse.

According to media reports, the Kiev City State Administration (KSCA) declined Igor Kushnir’s request to increase the charter capital of the communal enterprise Kievgorstroy by 1.3 billion hryvnyas.

Igor Kushnir brought Kyivmiskbud on the edge of bankruptcy

This refusal indicates that Kyivmiskbud is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. The requested increase in registered capital, amounting to 1.3 billion hryvnyas, is a reflection of the significant financial gap that has emerged within one of Ukraine’s formerly powerful and successful construction firms.

It is not difficult to speculate on the fate that awaits the projects of Kyivmiskbud. Undoubtedly, the war has brought certain challenges to the builder’s operations. And it is precisely the war that Igor Kushnir, the head of Kyivmiskbud, will attempt to use as a shield when disgruntled investors, once again feeling deceived by the state regarding their apartments, gather to storm the company’s office and the Kyiv council building.

Igor Kushnir’s actions are driving Kyivmiskbud towards bankruptcy, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of court orders listed in the registry. The war, however, serves as a convenient scapegoat that has fallen into Kushnir’s lap. The reality is that Kyivmiskbud, under his leadership, has been steadily heading towards financial ruin. The company finds itself submerged in legal battles, with nearly a thousand court cases recorded according to the court registers.

The scope of legal battles encompasses the entirety of Kyiv. It is a matter of debate whether Kyivmiskbud’s financial position is a result of these court cases or if, conversely, these court cases are an outcome of the company’s losses. It is plausible that these are interconnected processes. However, it is worth noting that in the previous year, Kyivmiskbud incurred losses of nearly 36 million hryvnias.

A private Kushnir’s enterprise disguised as a state company

On paper, Kyivmiskbud is classified as a communal enterprise. However, in practice, it has long transformed from a joint-stock company into a holding company. The designation of a “utility company” serves merely as a facade, providing a long-standing means to attract investors for housing projects. In reality, numerous other companies purportedly affiliated with the holding are actively involved in conducting business operations.

However, the city’s ownership in these companies is almost non-existent. Consequently, funds from Kyivmiskbud are effectively funneled into third-party entities, while the burden of losses is unfairly placed upon Kyivmiskbud itself.

Interestingly, Igor Kushnir assumed the position of the head of PJSC HC Kyivmiskbud as early as 2012. Prior to that, he held the role of Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine before fleeing to Russia. Despite the political upheavals during the Yanukovych and Poroshenko administrations, Kushnir managed to maintain his position, and it is highly likely that he will continue to do so under President Zelensky.

Kushnir’s ascent to his current position was facilitated by the support of Sergei Lovochkin, the head of the Presidential Administration, and Andrei Kravets, the head of the State Administration of Affairs, both of whom were prominent figures during the Yanukovych era. It is not surprising that Kushnir remained untouched during Poroshenko’s presidency. However, what is surprising is that despite significant reshuffling in the construction market during 2019-2020 under President Zelensky, with the dismissal of several influential figures, Kushnir managed to hold his ground.

The nature of Kushnir’s resilience remains unclear, especially considering that on February 19, 2021, Klodius Investments Limited, a company owned by Oksana Kushnir, a citizen of Cyprus, came under sanctions. This particular company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, adding another layer of complexity to the situation.

While Kyivmiskbud struggles to stay afloat, Igor Kushnir leads a lavish lifestyle in Vienna

It’s worth noting that Oksana Kushnir, Igor Kushnir’s wife and a Cypriot citizen with a coveted golden passport, possesses an apartment in the prestigious “French Quarter” residential complex, spanning 161 square meters, along with two parking spaces. The total value of her real estate holdings amounts to nearly $160,000.

Igor Kushnir’s children are also far from experiencing financial hardship. His son and daughter own a 200-square-meter apartment in the “Zarechny” residential complex, valued at $309,000. Additionally, they possess two more apartments in the “Pechersky” residential complex, collectively worth $590,000, and two accompanying parking spaces.

The Kushnir family boasts an impressive fleet of vehicles, including a Mercedes E250 Cabriolet, a Range Rover, a Mercedes E250 CDI, and a Mercedes E220. Moreover, from 2013 to 2017, Kushnir’s son rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The combined value of their fleet is estimated to be approximately $452,000, as reported by the Center for Investigative Journalism.

Without insinuating anything, it is noteworthy that the declared earnings of Igor  Kushnir, the official in question, amounted to a mere $127,000 over his entire lifetime.

The total value of the Kushnir family’s real estate holdings in Kiev alone reaches approximately $1.1 million. However, the assets of this official, who sought to secure a capitalization of 1.3 billion hryvnias for Kyivmiskbud, extend beyond this.

Igor Kushnir owns this impressive mansion in California.
Igor Kushnir owns this impressive mansion in California.

In line with the tendencies of the so-called “Ukrainian elite,” Igor Nikolaevich possesses a share of real estate abroad. In 2014, he acquired a luxurious residence spanning 800 square meters in the prestigious La Jolla district of San Diego, California, for a staggering $11 million.

Furthermore, it should be noted that since at least 2012, he and his family have made an average of 12 trips abroad each year. Their destinations encompass a variety of countries, including Germany, the USA, Great Britain, Austria, France, and even the Seychelles.

We will refrain from delving into the details of who facilitated the release of a man of military age, considering that Kushnir was 51 years old during his trip to Vienna. This excursion, however, pales in comparison to everything else that transpired.

Igor Kushnir is traveling a lot.
Igor Kushnir is traveling a lot.

According to information provided to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Kushnir orchestrated a scheme to embezzle public funds by inflating the prices of land plots acquired by Kyivmiskbud or undervaluing the cost of properties sold by the company. Through this scheme, the head of the company could unlawfully receive “dividends.”

As per police estimates, such an illicit scheme could have resulted in the misappropriation of over a billion hryvnias. Coincidentally, this amount aligns closely with the sum Kushnir requested from KSCA for the recapitalization of Kyivmiskbud. As the saying goes, “coincidence? I think not.”

Another intriguing coincidence related to the financial losses of Kyivmiskbud involves an unusual investment in the completion of the Mirax Plaza office and residential center, owned by the well-known Russian developer Sergei Polonsky. Notably, Polonsky’s company Mirax was involved in constructing the renowned “Moscow City” in the Russian capital.

Since we have broached the topic of investments by Kyivmiskbud in Russian businesses, there is a particular chapter in Igor Kushnir’s biography that is linked to separatist regions.

Igor Kushnir’s involvement in sponsoring pro-Russian separatists

Even at the onset of the conflict in Donbass, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) intercepted a conversation discussing the financing of organizations in the seceded regions through Kristallbank. One of the implicated individuals was the former Member of Parliament, Romanyuk, who allegedly facilitated the money transfer in exchange for a 5% commission. However, to ensure the cooperation of the militant representatives, Igor Kushnir acted as a guarantor.

This incident was suppressed, and Kushnir even temporarily left Ukraine. However, things eventually settled down. While one might argue that these claims are unsubstantiated, it is undeniably intriguing that during this period, Kushnir purchased the mansion in San Diego for $11 million.

This acquisition represents just a fraction of Igor Kushnir’s overall assets. The question of how someone with an official salary of less than two thousand dollars managed to amass such wealth remains unanswered. It is misleading that all of Kushnir’s assets are registered under his wife and children, except for the astoundingly lenient law enforcement agencies in Ukraine.

While the personal prosperity of Kyivmiskbud’s head, Igor Kushnir, soared, the company entrusted to him teetered towards collapse. This is unlikely to be a mere coincidence. However, it is doubtful that Kushnir himself will suffer the consequences following Kyivmiskbud’s downfall. He is connected to too many influential figures occupying high offices, making him an untouchable key player in various schemes. After all, it is no coincidence that Igor Kushnir has managed to survive the tenure of three presidents and numerous transformations in Ukraine’s real estate market.

You might also like More from author

Comments are closed.