Wife of Ukraine president-elect got penthouse bargain from tycoon
02 May 2019

The wife of Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy bought a luxury apartment for less than half the market rate from business tycoon Oleksandr Buryak, according to official income and property records.

Zelenskiy, a comedian and TV star with no political experience, won the April 21 presidential election after campaigning as someone who stands apart from the wealthy elite that dominates Ukrainian business and politics.

But the deal over the apartment — in the upmarket “Emperor” complex on the Black Sea coast — indicates that Zelenskiy’s family has benefited from a transaction with a member of that same wealthy elite.

Reuters was unable to establish why the apartment was sold at below market prices. Neither Zelenskiy nor his wife responded to requests for comment submitted via his campaign team and via companies he co-owns.

Buryak, the businessman who, according to public property register documents sold the apartment, declined to comment on the apartment when Reuters contacted him by telephone, and did not respond to written questions.

Zelenskiy’s wife, Olena Zelenska, bought the three-room penthouse apartment on Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula for $163,893 in April 2013, according to the declaration of income and assets filed this year by her husband, and the Ukrainian property register.

By Natalia Zinets, Polina Ivanova and Rinat Sagdiev, Reuters, 1 May 2019

Read more at Reuters

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