Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky’s ‘Ukraine Today’ closes it’s doors for good after a quick two year stint working as an anti-Russian propaganda channel.
Kolomoisky’s 1+1 Media Group, which operates ‘Ukraine Today’, among several other nationwide TV channels and news websites, including Tsn.ua, UNIAN, Glavred, and the former JN1 (Jewish News One), could not justify the expensive costs of keeping the channel afloat.
“We all understand that our company, as well as the whole country, is going through difficult times. Today, we cannot afford to have a project without a clearly defined business component,” said Alexander Tkachenko, CEO of 1+1 Media Group.
1+1 is not the only Kolomoisky property to find itself in a bad position. The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris reported a few days ago plans of the Kiev government to nationalize Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank – the country’s biggest privately owned bank by assets and its biggest retail bank, which holds a third of Ukraine’s private deposits.
Alexander Mercouris was spot on in his report:
“PrivatBank’s biggest shareholder before its nationalisation was Igor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s most powerful and notorious oligarchs, and one of its five richest men. In 2014 Kolomoisky played a key role in the fighting in the Donbass, funding right wing militias to fight the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and maintaining an iron grip on the city of Dnepropetrovsk of which he had been appointed governor by the Maidan government shortly after the February 2014 coup.”
“Taking PrivatBank out of Kolomoisky’s control deprives Kolomoisky of a bank he has used as a cash cow to finance his various activities, and which he might have used to finance his new party, and weakens his position in the oligarchic feuding which in Ukraine passes for politics.”
Forbes reported further on Kolomoisky’s thugish Ukrainian-style of business:
“Kolomoisky fostered strong reputations as corporate raiders in the mid-2000s, becoming notorious for a series of hostile takeovers. Hostile takeovers Ukrainian-style, that is, which often included the active involvement of Privat[bank]’s quasi-military teams. These schemes included, among others, a literal raid on the Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006, in which hundreds of hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws forcibly took over the plant.”
“More recently, Aerosvit Airlines, which according to the media was controlled by Mr. Kolomoisky, declared bankruptcy in 2012, stranding thousands of Ukrainians in Ukraine and abroad. The Financial Times, when reporting on Kolomoisky’s recent conflict with UK company JKX Oil & Gas, stated in no uncertain terms, that “in Ukraine they [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] are called ‘The Raiders’.”
‘Ukraine Today’ attributed its closure to the government’s launch of an international public service broadcaster, but this is unlikely to be the main reason since Kolomoisky needed to liquidate his channel in order to sure up his more profitable ventures, and because he has a particular way of ‘negotiating’ with his competitors.