Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Klitschko and Ukraine’s Love of Cars and Cash | Graham W Phillips

Opprobrium erupted across Europe at the December 24th beating of Ukrainian activist-journalist Tetyana Chornovol. It was taken as a given in near every media outlet that it had been ordered by someone close to President Yanukovych, due to Chornovol’s opposition activities, with flurries of tweets by diplomats and politicians alike jumping on the Big Vik bashing bandwagon.The Klitschko brothers were particularly vehement in their implication, and condemnation.

And then, something strange happened. A lot of people formerly pretty noisy, went rather quiet on the matter. It didn’t take much reading to work out why, either. You see, a man had been arrested for the beating. And he was indeed linked to a politician. The problem was, it wasn’t Yanukovych, it was the Klitschkos. You see, Vitali Klitschko may have latterly been world champion boxer turned would-be statesmanlike figure of Ukraine’s volatile political scene, notably abstaining when fists fly in the Verkhovna Rada, yet there are few who don’t believe that he, and his brother, once worked for notorious gangster Viktor Rybalko. Rybalko rang a string of rackets in Kiev in the 90s, with the Klitschko brothers reportedly hired heavies.

However, despite Rybalko being dead as of 2005, mowed down in a hail of machine-gun fire in Kiev, assailants never caught, offshoots of his criminal empire remain, including the so-called Savlohova gang, which highest profile Chornovol suspect Sergei Kotenko has been linked with. Klitschko, leader of the opposition UDAR party, of course, vigorously denied any links to Rybalko, as he has done many times before.


And walking through any city, especially the capital of Kiev, one witnesses a cavalcade of luxury cars. Cars are a particularly highly prized commodity in Ukraine, with none of the shift towards smaller, more economically friendly vehicles seen in European countries. In the Kiev region alone, there are around 34,000 cars costing in excess of $100,000, among them Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and Maybach. So prevalent are luxury motors in Ukraine that even Bentley is not regarded as a top brand in terms of exclusivity – with around 400 Bentleys in all Ukraine, compared to 30 Aston Martins.

But the love of a high-price car is not confined to Kiev, with Dnipropetrovsk near 7,000 and Donetsk well over 6,000. German marques are generally the favourite with over 65,000 Mercedes and BMW’s registered across Ukraine.

Complete story at - Klitschko and Ukraine’s Love of Cars and Cash | Graham W Phillips

CC Photo Google Image Search Source is upload wikimedia org  Subject is 800px Vitali Klitschko by Slawek

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