The protest at Baker Street in London was organized by ‘London Euromaidan’ group and brought together Ukrainian activists living in the UK.
The protesters called out the Ukrainian president over cover-up of exposed offshore dealings.
‘The recent Pandora Papers investigation revealed Zelensky was involved with money laundering of Kolomoysky’s PrivatBank funds and [that helped him] bought an apartment in London, and there can be more of them, still undeclared,’ said one of the event organizers Andriy Bubernak, adding that corruption in Ukraine is ‘reaching new heights with Zelensky showing that he is not fighting it, but taking part in corrupt schemes’.
‘Everybody must take responsibility for their actions. Let Zelensky take responsibility for his actions before people of Ukraine. Let he return the money to Ukraine. He could sell his apartment or few of them. He must declare it’, stressed Bubernak.
The protesters held signs ‘Zelensky is corrupt’ and ‘Sell your apartment and return the money’. The event got support from activists of European Democrat Students, youth wing of European People’s party.
The Ukrainian president now faces growing backlash after scathing reports revealed Zelensky-affiiated businesses used offshore schemes in 2012-2019 to dodge paying taxes in Ukraine.
Pandora Papers and Slidstvo.Info found evidence that Zelensky’s close allies’ Serhiy Shefir and Ivan Bakanov set up front companies to manage the money, about $40 million in undeclared payments, that came from notorious Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskiy.
London property of Zelensky and his close circle
According to its findings, two of the offshore companies belonging to Zelenskyy’s partners were used to buy three lavish properties in central London.
The leaked files revealed that the offshore companies connected to Zelensky and his business partners now own three properties in London worth $ 7.5 million. Serhiy Shefir’s companies own a$2.1 million apartment in an Edwardian mansion block in Regent’s Park, and another $3 million flat in nearby Baker Street, opposite the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
The company owned by another Kvartal 95 executive Andriy Yakovlev holds a $2.3 million luxyru flat owns a luxury flat in a Victorian mansion block in Artillery Row, Westminster.
Ukraine features prominently in Pandora Papers investigation with almost 40 Ukrainians named among politicians and businessmen from dozens of countries who used offshore companies for questionable deals and property acquisitions.
Ukrainian officials sought to downplay the fallout from scandal while the state chief prosecutor called into question ‘credibility’ of the media report.