Triumvirate accused of turning Odesa into personal fiefdom
acquainted when he headed a major business in Odesa. The group that he founded was guarded by our security firm, like many others.”
Angert, who goes by the nickname “Angel,” was born in Odesa in 1955, and had Israeli, Venezuelan and Soviet citizenship, according to the dossier. He used to live in London and now lives in Turkey, OCCRP reported in April.
In the 1980s, in the Soviet era, Angert was sentenced to 15 years in jail for raping and murdering a woman, and for robbery, Alla Korystovska, who worked as a police investigator at the time, told OCCRP in 2016.
Angert’s other partner, Galanternik, is 48 years old, according to Elle UK’s 2016 interview with Natasha Zinko.
In the early 1990s Galanternik was a small businessman who traded electric equipment, getting the nickname of Lampochka (Light Bulb), Alexander Sibirtsev, an Odesabased investigative journalist, told the Novoye Vremya magazine. In 2003, Galanternik co-founded Sotskombank, which was liquidated in 2011.
"As far as Galanternik is concerned, that’s a businessman who is actively doing business in Odesa. Why do we have such close relations with him?” Trukhanov said in a March interview with the Levy Bereg news site. “…There are people doing business in Odesa who also do something for the city: hold concerts, attract people, decorate playgrounds.”
Trukhanov, born in Odesa in 1965, became head of then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions’ faction on the Odesa City Council in 2010. He became mayor of the city in 2014 and re-elected in 2015.
Trukhanov has Russian citizenship, which was confirmed by the site of Russia’s Federal Tax Service, although he denies this.
The gang is also linked to Russian oil magnate Alexander Zhukov, according to the dossier. In 2011, he was detained in Italy on suspicion of trading illegal weapons. An Italian court acquitted him of smuggling because it was outside of Italy’s jurisdiction.
Angert, Angert’s daughter Anya, Galanternik, and Trukahnov’s common-law wife and daughter, Tetyana Koltunova and Kateryna Trukhanova, have all bought luxury apartments in London, according to an April investigation by OCCRP.
Trukhanov’s associates currently own a thriving business empire in Odesa that includes companies that win municipal contracts and are awarded most of the prime land for construction.
These include construction companies Sofor, Rostdorstroy, Ekop-Pivden, Panteon-Yug, Kyivshlyakhbud, Dnestrprudvod, Vorontsovski Vezhi, Inteko-Yug, PIK Story and SKVO, as well as Odesa Regional Insurance Company.
According to the Justice Ministry’s official register, these companies are currently co-owned or headed by Yuriy Shumakher, a member of Trukhanov’s faction; Alexander Zhukov, a business partner of Shumakher and father of Russian billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich's ex-wife, Dasha Zhukova; Maryna Lozovenko, an Odesa city council member from Trukhanov’s faction, as well as Trukhanov’s business partners — Andriy Ivancho, Dmytro Bugeda, Mykola Bugeda and Mykola Danilyuk.
Trukhanov’s daughter Kateryna used to be the CEO of SKVO.
According to two leaks of information on offshore firms — the Panama and Paradise Papers — some of these companies used to be co-owned directly by Trukhanov. Shumakher confirmed to the Kyiv Post that he used to co-own one of the companies’ parent firms Corderoy Trading Limited with Trukhanov.
In 2016, the British Virgin Islands’ Financial Investigation Agency asked Mossack Fonseca, a share registrar, about documents from Corderoy Trading Limited as part of a money laundering investigation, according to documents published by Slidsvto.info.
Companies linked to the Trukhanov- Angert- Galanternik group regularly win municipal contracts to repair roads, schools and hospitals, Arkady Topov from Odesa’s Anti-Corruption Office civic group told the Kyiv Post.
Rostdorstroy has consistently received the biggest municipal contracts for road repairs in Odesa, while Lozovenko’s PIK Stroy also gets such contracts, he said.
Topov argued that municipal tenders are often rigged or manipulated, either by stipulating their terms so vaguely or making their conditions so strict that only Trukhanov-linked companies are able to take part. Shumakher denied the accusations.
High-end real estate
Since 2014 Odesa City Council, dom- inated by Trukhanov’s faction, has distributed the city’s most valuable land to companies allegedly connected with Trukhanov, Galanternik and Angert. The alleged ties to the businessmen are difficult to trace because Galanternik and Angert own very few firms directly and use placeholders to own assets on their behalf, anti-corruption activists say.
“When we were fighting to defend the city (from Russian-backed separatists) in 2014, and when the war on the eastern front began, Odesa City Council was taking a lot of decisions in favor of Galanternik,” Ustymenko said.
Shumakher denied the accusations that the land had been allocated unfairly.
But when one takes a look at the companies that regularly win city contracts, a web of links between them start to appear — with Angert, Galanternik and Trukhanov at its nexus. For instance, Arkadia City, a real estate developer for the Arkadia seaside district, is headed by Valentyna Sokolova, an aide to Bloc of Petro Poroshenko lawmaker Oleksandr Presman — a political ally of Trukhanov. Oleg Degtyarev, who co-owns Arkadia City, also co-heads Law Firm, which controls the UK-registered hotel and accommodation company Leratex Limited — the director of which is Galanternik’s daughter Maria. Law Firm also manages the UK-registered fashion company Abrakadabra Creations, co-owned by Galanternik’s wife Zinko. Arkadia City did not respond to a request for comment.
Another of Odesa’s predominant property developers, Budova, is formally owned by little-known Odesa residents Oleh Glushankov, Dmytro Dimarsky and Boris Rodin. According to Odesa-based journalist and civic activist Mykhailo Meizersky, Polamarchuk, Ustymenko and numerous other sources in Odesa, the firm is actually owned by Angert, Galanternik and Trukhanov. Budova declined to comment.
Zevs, a security firm that provides services to Trukhanov, is registered at the same address as Budova — 93 Bolshaya Arnautskaya.
Budova’s co-owner Dimarsky owns UVGP-Sistema, which was previously co-owned by Yuriy Bugeda, a business partner of Trukhanov.
Meanwhile, Starosennaya Ploshchad in Odesa is being developed by a firm called Advancement. Andriy Babko, the CEO of Advancement, also heads American Group Invest, owned by Radion Lefteryov. Lefteryov was a co-founder of Sotskombank with Galanternik and Presman, the political ally of Trukhanov.
Real estate on Starosennaya Ploshchad was illegally rented without a tender by the city authorities to Advancement in 2016 and then illegally sold to the firm, according to investigative journalist Grigory Kozma. The buildings had already been destroyed by the time they were fictitiously privatized, he said.
Local activists also link Odesa’s Privoz market to the Angert-GalanternikTrukhanov group.
Oleksiy Spektor, a subordinate of Trukhanov who has been charged in a National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine case against the mayor, used to be the CEO of Privoz.
Privoz is controlled by Kelmos Enterprise, which also owns Dara Group, headed by Eduard Samotkal.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals said that Samotkal is known as one of “Galanternik’s directors.” Samotkal and Galanternik used to co-own Privoz, the source said. Representatives of Privoz declined to comment for this story. In 2012, prosecutors opened a case into the illegal privatization of parts of Privoz, but closed it in 2014, according to an investigation by the Slidstvo. info investigative show. In 2013, the Odesa city authorities sold Privoz, which has an area of four hectares, for Hr 40 million — much less than the value of the prime building land on which it is located.
Galanternik’s aim “is to build as much as possible and commercialize as much as possible, and get maximum profits for his group,” Ustymenko said.
Businessman Vladimir Galanternik's wife Natasha Zinko poses in a dress themed on French queen Marie Antoinette in Hyde Park, London, on May 15, 2016. Zinko's Instagram exposes the couple's lavish lifestyle. (Zinko's Instagram)
Yuriy Shumakher, a member of Odesa City Council from Mayor Hennady Trukhanov's faction. (Courtesy)