On February 1, the SBU conducted searches at the home of people’s deputy Vadim Stolar and in construction companies controlled by him. As stated in the law enforcement agency, the searches were carried out as part of the case of laundering the funds of ex-people’s deputies from the Opposition Platform for Life, Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak, writes Andrey Kovalenko.
In particular, we are talking about the redemption of the corporate rights of Ukrainian developers by various offshore companies and Russian financial institutions, as well as the use of funds from the sale of real estate to finance actions that threaten state security. Businessman and people’s deputy Vadym Stolar was quite an influential figure in Ukraine before the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. By counting Forbes, in 2021, Stolar was ranked 64th in the list of the richest Ukrainians with assets of $175 million. He was repeatedly accused of corruption and fraud, but he successfully adapted to any government and always got away with it. Who is Vadim Stolar and whether he will be able to avoid criminal prosecution this time, read in the material.
“Fighter” of the Monaco battalion
A year ago, when the Russian army was standing near Kiev, MP Stolar rested on the Cote d’Azur in France, where he has a villa. He left Ukraine not in a hurry. The businessman left the country a few days before the full-scale invasion, as did some of his HLE colleagues.
True, Stolar explained his departure by his grandmother’s birthday.
“Today is a very important day for me! It’s my beloved grandmother’s birthday! She is 80 years old! She lives in Germany, and our whole family came here to congratulate her. She has done so much for me and means so much that it is difficult to put into words! informed People’s Deputy on his Facebook page on February 14.
Later, Stolar wrote that he was already in Warsaw, where allegedly launching a hubsending aid to Ukraine from all over the world. After this hub works, Stolar promised to return to his homeland.
But, apparently, the work of the hub somehow did not work out, and Vadim Stolar never returned to his homeland, and on the eve of the new year 2023 ended up in Dubai. He was noticed in the Russian restaurant Suvoroff. Sources in diplomatic circles said that the people’s deputy later issued a driver’s license in the UAE. Note that only residents of the Emirates can receive the document.
The people’s deputy did not appear at work in the Verkhovna Rada for more than six months. However, at the beginning of 2023, Stolar hastily returned to Ukraine. According to experts, the main goal of the return is to preserve the parliamentary mandate. And so far he has succeeded. Interestingly, on January 13, during a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, Stolar voted for the deprivation of the mandates of his former colleagues in the HLE. But before that, he left the Opposition Platform for Life faction and joined the newly created deputy group “Restoration of Ukraine”, which was made up of his fellow party members and majoritarians close to the Opposition Platform for Life.
The end of Stolar, or the ability to adapt?
The ability to stay afloat is one of the main features of Stolar. His political career began in 2006. Then he was elected a deputy of the Kyiv Regional Council on the list of Our Ukraine Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko.
In 2010, Viktor Yanukovych became president of Ukraine, and Vadim Stolar joined the Party of Regions, although he considered himself a non-partisan. In 2010, the businessman for the first time became a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada from the Party of Regions. In more than two years in parliament, he has not proposed a single bill or even an amendment to the law. But he supported the prolongation of the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea.
In 2012, Stolar again ran for the Verkhovna Rada, but already as a self-nominated candidate in the 217th constituency (part of the Obolonsky district of Kiev). Tellingly, during the elections, Stolar tried not to advertise his connection with the Party of Regions.
But then the businessman lost the election, despite the very specific work with voters using banknotes. It did not help that the team of Vadim Stolar, as noted in the releases, laid more than 18,000 m² of asphalt, repaired about 130 old playgrounds, installed 13 new ones, and brought 4,800 tons of sand and black soil into the yards. Also, workers in clothes with the logo of Vadim Stolar painted fences and repaired entrances.
In 2014, Vadim Stolar joined the UDAR party of Vitali Klitschko, worked in the patronage service of the city hall, as well as in the headquarters of the political force. Then he went as a self-nominated member of the city council. Stolar won the election, because UDAR nominated the young activist Olga Lyulchak as his opponent, who had no chance of success.
Then the media wrote that in the Kyiv City Council, Stolar began to cooperate with the so-called “Poroshenko group”, coordinating its position with the position of BLOW.
In 2019, Vadym Stolar became a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada for the second time. This time he was elected to parliament already from the Opposition Platform for Life. In the same year, Stolar financed the party Viktor Medvedchuk by 1.6 million UAH.
“There is no crime in the fact that Stolar financed the HLE– says the Kiev urbanist Georgy Mogilny in a commentary to Apostrophe, – This party was parliamentary and it also received funding from the state. But if the security forces manage to prove the collaboration activities of Stolar, then it’s another matter.”.
Like water off a duck’s back
Loud scandals are associated with the name of Vadim Stolar. The most famous of them is the investment and construction pyramid. company “Elite Center”. Recall that Elita Center took large sums of money from investors, who were future homeowners, for the construction of houses, but did not complete the construction of any of them. The owner of the company, a citizen of the Russian Federation, Alexander Volkonsky, simply disappeared along with the remnants of unspent funds. The investigation then revealed about 2,000 victims, who in general gave the developers about UAH 400 million, or, at the then exchange rate, about $80 million. USA.
In 2007, Alexander Volkonsky was detained in Switzerland, and in 2008 he was extradited to Ukraine, where he served 9 years. However, no money was found and they were not returned to the victims. However, even then, many media wrote that Volkonsky was a screen in this story, and the key participants in this epic were allegedly Vadim Stolar and his father Mikhail, who were among the co-founders of Elita-stroyinvest Company LLC, one of the commercial structures , which were part of the Elita-Center group of companies, and in which the funds of future housing shareholders were accumulated. However, Stolar managed to avoid prosecution. He was a witness in the Elite Center case.
As noted in the media, last but not least, close relations with the son of the then mayor of the capital Leonid Chernovetsky, Stepan, helped Stolar avoid problems.
In 2011, Vadim Stolar landed in a new story. He vouched for loans from companies that supplied the State Reserve with low-quality diesel fuel in the amount of UAH 160.63 million. Then, at the auction of the State Reserve, Imoti Star’s only competitor was Legendas-M LLC, headed by a confidant of Vadim Stolar.
The second winner of the auction of the State Reserve – LLC PKP SKB, which was supposed to supply fuel in the amount of 42.13 million, for which Vadim Stolar also vouched, supplied low-quality fuel and was also fined. The founder of the third company (LLC “Stolitsainvestbud”), which sold goods to the State Reserve at inflated prices and because of which the state lost more than 40 million hryvnias, was the wife of Stolar’s assistant.
In 2014, the court found Stolar guilty and demanded that Stolar’s estate be arrested, but he did not give it away, but “gave” it to his wife.
Vadim Stolar was also one of the shareholders of Conversbank (CityCommerceBank), which went bankrupt in 2014. Another of Conversebank’s shareholders, Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov, accused by the Lithuanian authorities of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars, believes that Stolar and three others stole 13.3 million euros belonging to him from Conversebank.
And in 2017 leading media openly called Stolar “shadow”, and someone even the “real” mayor of the capital. The main scandals were connected with the illegal development of Kyiv. In particular, the construction of a shopping and office center near the Teatralnaya metro station, which became the Museum of Kyiv under pressure from the people of Kiev, as well as buildings on Nikitskaya Slobodka. In the second case, Stolar’s mother, Yana, was a co-owner, and father Mikhail was the director of the Mike company, to which land for construction was taken out.
Also Vadim Stolar “lit up”in the withdrawal of UAH 1 billion from the subway construction contractor at Vinogradar, the Kyivmetrostroy company.
However, in the summer of 2022, information appeared that Stolar was leaving the construction business. However, experts believe that this is nothing more than an attempt to hide the ends in the water.
“This is a lie. There is no evidence that he left the construction business.– says urbanist Georgy Mogilny, – Officially, Stolar’s companies are recorded as nominees, and it is not known for certain which development companies he owns. Stolar himself does not officially build anything.“.
End of Stolar. Will patronage help?
Vadim Stolar, despite his negative reputation, always kept his nose to the wind. And now, he has not changed his habit. Quickly disowning Viktor Medvedchuk, Stolar became a philanthropist. Through your charitable foundation he began to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Ukrainians who suffered from Russian aggression.
Political scientist Vladimir Fesenko, in a commentary to Apostrophe, stressed that the charitable foundation would not help Stolar.
“Searches at Stolar’s are a signal to the elites that this person is not worth doing business with. I think that Stolar has very serious problems now. The connection with Medvedchuk and the Opposition Platform for Life is very toxic and, in my opinion, Stolar will not be able to return to big politics and business after the war. But whether he will be prosecuted or not, I do not know. It’s a matter for law enforcement“, – said Vladimir Fesenko.
Georgy Mogilny, on the contrary, believes that searches at Stolar are a screen, and patronage will be credited to him and he will again come out dry from the water.
“The fact is that Stolar led a certain number of his people to the Verkhovna Rada. Some of them went through the HLE list, and some went through majoritarian districts. Now the Opposition Platform for Life has been banned, but the deputies from this political force have remained and they vote in unison with the Servants of the Peoplesays the urbanist, For example, Servants of the People, in alliance with the remnants of the Opposition Platform for Life and Life and the Restoration of Ukraine group, which includes Stolar, dragged through the scandalous urban planning law 5655. Therefore, the authorities need Stolar. I think that he may even be forced to exponentially resign his deputy mandate, but he will remain afloat“.
After returning to Ukraine, Vadim Stolar was going to Dubai again in a few days. However, the people’s deputy was not released at the border and he was forced to stay at home.
Now rumors have begun to spread that Vadim Stolar allegedly intends to lay down his deputy mandate. David Arakhamia, head of the Servant of the People faction, hinted at this in his telegram channel, although he did not name names. Stolar himself does not comment on this decision. It is possible that he again changes tactics. According to Mogilny, he will again try to stay afloat by coming to an agreement with the authorities.
DOSSIER: Vadim Stolar. Scandalous “silent man”