It is widely known that wealthy Ukrainians prefer to keep their millions in offshore entities. But the public rarely gets a sneak peek at that wealth.
One of those rare opportunities came this week, when investigative journalists around the world released stories based on a massive leak of documents on offshore companies. This second big leak in two years was dubbed the Paradise Papers, a spin on the name of the first big leak, the Panama Papers.
It wasn’t surprising to find several high-profile Ukrainians mentioned in the leaked documents, and it says something about President Petro Poroshenko that his name was among the least surprising discoveries.
It says even more about him that in the five days since the release of the documents, which provided more information about his attempts to move his business offshore and evade taxes, Poroshenko has found no time to comment on it.
While Ukraine is struggling to reform its complicated and flawed tax system to stimulate businesses to pay more taxes, the president’s personal example stimulates businesses to do exactly the opposite - move offshore, away from the annoying burden of taxes.
And Ukrainians don’t even find the information about Poroshenko’s affairs revealed in such leaks surprising anymore.