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Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky arrested on September 2 - Facts, all details of his case

Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky arrested on September 2 - Facts, all details of his case Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky (photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv on the evening of September 2 arrested oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky with the possibility of bail set at over 500 million hryvnias. He is suspected of fraud. RBC-Ukraine provides information about who Ihor Kolomoisky is and what is known about his case.


According to publicly available information, Ihor Kolomoisky began his business activities in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1991, he, along with Leonid Miloslavsky, Oleksii Martynov, and Gennadiy Bogolyubov, founded the company "Sentosa," which was involved in importing machinery from Moscow and selling it in Dnipro (then known as Dnipropetrovsk). He later moved on to importing petroleum products and subsequently ventured into ferroalloys.

In the 1990s, Kolomoisky, along with his partners, founded PrivatBank, which was under his ownership until it was nationalized in December 2016.

Between 1999 and 2003, Kolomoisky gained control over "Ukrnafta," the Kalinin Coke Chemical Plant, the Dnipropetrovsk market "Ozerka," the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant, and other enterprises.

Хто такий Ігор Коломойський та чому його арештували: бізнес, суди, скандали

Ihor Kolomoisky owns one of the largest chemical industry enterprises, "DniproAzot." For a long time, the company managed to produce mineral fertilizers using the cheap resource provided by "Ukrnafta." This company leased the facilities of "DniproAzot," processed its own gas, and sold the products to Kolomoisky's structures.

Kolomoisky also owns a range of media outlets, including co-ownership of the media group "1+1," which includes TV channels such as "1+1," "2+2," TET, "PlyusPlyus," "UNIAN TB," and "Bigudi." Among Kolomoisky's assets are also airlines Windrose and UIA (Ukraine International Airlines).

All of the oligarch's businesses, along with his partners, were consolidated under the "Privat" group, which comprises hundreds of enterprises. At the beginning of 2022, Kolomoisky's wealth was estimated at $1.8 billion, but by November, according to Forbes, it had decreased to $850 million.

Kolomoisky also owned the football club "Dnipro" but ceased funding it and left it in debt.


In March 2014, Kolomoisky took charge of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration. He held this position for one year until March 2015. In 2016, he joined the "UKROP" party. In the 9 convocation of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament), Kolomoisky is associated with the parliamentary group "For the Future," as well as with Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky, who previously worked at "1+1."


The seizure of "Ukrtransnafta"

In March 2015, the Rada deprived Kolomoisky of control over "Ukrtransnafta," after which armed individuals seized the company's building in the center of Kyiv. The oligarch referred to this as a "raider seizure of the enterprise by Russian saboteurs."

A few days later, Kolomoisky claimed that the armed individuals were representatives of a private security firm supposedly working with the permission of "Ukrtransnafta." On March 25, at the order of then-President Petro Poroshenko, law enforcement disarmed the security of "Ukrtransnafta" and later revoked its license.

Хто такий Ігор Коломойський та чому його арештували: бізнес, суди, скандали

Loss of "Ukrnafta"

In November 2021, it was expected that the company "Ukrnafta" would be divided - the oil business would be transferred to minority shareholders from the "Privat" group, who own more than 40% of the shares, while the gas business would remain with "Ukrnafta," of which 50%+1 share belongs to "Naftogaz."

Already in November 2022, "Ukrnafta" was nationalized along with a number of other companies, including "Motor Sich." This decision was made directly at the Supreme High Commander's headquarters.

In May 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers transferred the assets of "Ukrnaftoburinnya" and three gas companies to the management of "Ukrnafta." These companies were associated with Kolomoisky and businessmen Pavlo Fuks and Vitalii Khomutynnik.

The nationalization of PrivatBank

In December 2016, the government decided to nationalize PrivatBank, which was jointly owned by Kolomoisky and his partners. The reason for the nationalization at that time was the capital shortfall of 113 billion hryvnias identified by the National Bank.

Kolomoisky, along with Hennadii Boholiubov, challenged the decision to nationalize in several Ukrainian and international courts. In July 2022, the Supreme Court finally recognized the government's actions as legal. At the same time, legal proceedings continue in the London Arbitration Court.

In December 2017, the state-owned PrivatBank filed a lawsuit in the High Court of London against Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov, and companies that are likely owned or controlled by them.

US Sanctions

In early March 2021, the administration of the US president imposed sanctions on Kolomoisky. In addition to the oligarch himself, sanctions were imposed on members of his immediate family, including his wife Irina Kolomoyska, daughter, and son.

According to the US State Department, the sanctions were related to the period when Kolomoisky held the position of head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration. At that time, he allegedly "engaged in corrupt acts that undermined the rule of law and the trust of the Ukrainian public in democratic institutions and governance processes, including using his political influence and official power for personal gain."

Хто такий Ігор Коломойський та чому його арештували: бізнес, суди, скандали


Money laundering in the USA

In 2020, the US Department of Justice accused Kolomoisky of embezzling "billions of dollars" from PrivatBank and money laundering on US territory. His business partner Bogolyubov is also implicated in the case.

In August 2020, the US Department of Justice filed a civil complaint seeking the confiscation of property in Texas and Kentucky that belongs to a company controlled by Kolomoisky.

"Ukrnafta" and "Ukrtatnafta"

In February 2023, Kolomoisky's premises were searched as part of an investigation into the misappropriation of 40 billion hryvnias from the companies "Ukrnafta" and "Ukrtatnafta."

During this investigation, suspicions were raised against the top management of these companies, but Kolomoisky himself was not among the suspects at that time.

Suspicion of fraud

Today, law enforcement officers visited Kolomoisky again. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) informed him of suspicion under the articles "fraud" and "money laundering." According to the investigation, he laundered over 500 million hryvnias from 2013 to 2020 by transferring them abroad, using the infrastructure of banks under his control.

In the evening, the Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv decided to arrest Kolomoisky with the possibility of posting bail in the amount of 509 million hryvnias. He was taken into custody right in the courtroom.

According to Kolomoisky's lawyers, the oligarch does not intend to post bail, and his defense will appeal the court's decision.

Fighting against oligarchs in Ukraine

Prior to the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine began its efforts to combat oligarchs. This included the adoption of a de-oligarchization law initiated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which aimed to establish a registry of oligarchs. The registry was intended to include individuals who met several criteria specified in the law.

De-oligarchization and the fight against corruption were among the European Union's requirements for initiating negotiations on Ukraine's accession, and Ukraine's financing from the West also depended on these efforts.