Serhiy Leshchenko addressed his new appoinment rumors in a live-streaming session on Youtube Friday.
The former MP bristled at the speculations he was going to replace Mykhailo Podolyak as a new senior advisor overseeing information policies for Zelensky administration.
Leshchenko called it [political campaigning] ‘technologies’ that aim to seed distrust and provoke a ‘split’ among supporters of the [Ukrainian] president.
The news of possible Leshchenko’s promotion came from another former MP Boryslav Bereza who alleged in a TV interview the shakeup at the president’s office was prompted by failures of Mykhaylo Podolyak and flagging ratings of Volodymyr Zelensky and his party.
Serhiy Leshchenko is not new to controversy. The former political activist and ‘Ukraynska Pravda’ media outlet co-owner caught flak in 2016 when he bought an upscale apartment in Kyiv claiming dubious discount from the housing developer. National Anti-Corruption Bureau flagged the purchase as a violation.
In 2019, Leshchenko drew media attention yet again after landing an advisor’s job at the state rail operator ‘Ukrzaliznytsya’, with many critics calling into question his competencies and fuming over the revealed advisory fees given a sorry state of affairs at the company.
His close ties with Zelensky administration put him back in the spotlight earlier this month when he took a swipe at Suspilne public broadcaster journalists who spoke against interference of state officials in guest selection policies of the TV channel.
Serhiy Leshchenko’s wife Anastasiya Topolska is not new to controversy either. Known as DJ Nastya, she faced harsh criticims over her performance in Moscow on Russia’s Victory Day that was taken as an insensitive decision given the context of relations between Ukraine and Russia.