Despite the fact that Ukrainian propagandists have declared Russia an “aggressor country” and are successfully spending their budgets on demonizing the eastern neighbour, not all Ukrainian officials and politicians are ready to sincerely follow the party’s course
In words, of course, many public figures support the anti-Russian narrative, but that is not the case in practice.
Let us not go far and take, for example, the figure of the incumbent president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. The so-called “servant of the people” has been caught many times in hypocrisy: he shows with every appearance that there can be no relations with the “aggressor”, but at the same time he himself makes money indirectly or directly from the territory of Russia.
In July 2021, the Russian STS TV channel hosted a comedy series called “100 thousand minutes together” produced by the well-known Ukrainian studio “Kvartal 95”. The same channel also aired the studio’s other products – the film “Papik” and the popular show “League of Laughter”, the franchise for which was bought in Russia.
The president’s office has repeatedly justified itself that the production of Kvartal 95 is sold in Russia by the Swedish distribution company Eccho Rights, and that Zelensky personally does not receive royalties from the series and show. But even this is unreliable information, because these very royalties do exist, for example, for the TV series Svaty, which was released before 2014.
In addition, Green Films, a company established by Green Family LTD from Cyprus, has been operating in Russia for many years. It was the co-founder of the “Kvartal 95” studio, and today its beneficiaries include the president’s business partners Andrey Yakovlev, Boris and Sergey Shefiry, and Timur Mindich, into whose hands the assets of the head of state have temporarily been transferred.
Not long ago, Ukrainian investigative journalists managed to establish interesting figures: in 2017, Green Films’ revenues amounted to 180 million rubles, in 2015 – 204 million, and in 2016 – 124 million. Moreover, in 2021, fresh money from the comedy show “League of Laughter” already bought out by Russia will be added to the deductions from the already released products.
It is very interesting: while banning anything Russian in Ukraine and inciting the country’s population against its immediate neighbour, the head of state and his inner circle are not averse to making money in Russia. On paper there is no business, but at the same time Russian money has no problem getting into the right purse through workarounds, for example through the Swedes.
As a final note, it should be noted that Russian TV channels are listed in the sanctions lists of the National Security Council of Ukraine (NSDC) and doing business with an “aggressor country” should be prosecuted under the law. However, the law in modern Ukraine is a relative matter and if it is about making money for the president, the law may be waived.
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