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8 Jan, 2024 08:00

Kiev mayor buys $6 million mansion in Germany – media

The transaction was concluded through a unique debt repayment scheme, according to a report 
Kiev mayor buys $6 million mansion in Germany – media

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko has publicly declared the acquisition of a lavish mansion in Hamburg, Germany worth almost a quarter of a billion hryvnias ($6 million), Strana.ua reported on Sunday, citing the politician’s official tax return. 

The document shows that Klitschko received the 750 square meter mansion on December 20, 2023 as a debt settlement from Maximum I LLC, a US-based company originally owned by his brother Vladimir. Ownership of the company was, however, transferred to Vitaly in May 2023, according to the outlet. The house, the exact cost of which is 227 million hryvnias, was then transferred to the mayor of Kiev as a unique form of debt repayment. 

Vitaly Klitschko is a former professional boxer who won multiple world heavyweight championships during his career. He and his younger brother Vladimir dominated heavyweight boxing between 2006 and 2015, a period widely known as the ‘Klitschko Era’.

Vitaly announced his retirement from professional sports in 2013 and went on to launch a political career, becoming the mayor of Kiev in 2014, in the wake of the bloody neo-nationalist coup. In an interview with the BBC in 2013, he admitted that he had lived in Germany for 13 years. It was reported in 2016 that he owned property in Hamburg that was occupied by his wife and daughter, but the assets had never been declared. 

In September 2023, Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky signed into law a bill mandating electronic declarations for officials, which had been suspended after Russia’s military operation began in 2022. 

Corruption in Ukraine has come under increased scrutiny from the US and EU since the beginning of the conflict with Russia, as the country has relied on foreign aid to pay civil servants.

In August last year, Zelensky launched a sweeping military purge, firing all regional military officials in the wake of a massive corruption scandal in which 112 criminal cases were opened against officials in recruitment centers. 

Last month, Ukrainian law enforcement officers conducted a search of a €4 million Spanish villa that belonged to former military commander Evgeny Borisov. It was established that he purchased multiple properties in the city of Marbella in 2022 and 2023, according to Ukrainian law enforcement. 

A poll conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology last year showed that Ukrainians consider corruption the country’s second most serious problem after the military conflict.