The Former Head of the Presidential Administration Boris Lozhkin Comes Back
Spontaneous refocusing from politics to philanthropy and public activity has never been a good sign. At least if we speak about Ukraine where the lack of trustiness doesn’t let people believe in marvelous transformation. Boris Lozhkin, the multimillionaire, the representative of top-30 media-managers from CIS and top-80 richest people of the country, decided to break the tradition. He became the Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine in 2014, and two years later he became the first betrayer who ran away from Poroshenko’s environment.
Nevertheless, people who were hired by Lozhkin still occupy the key positions. Moreover, he is still in the foreground. He literally occupied Google – there are ten October news about his good gestures among other publications. At KIEF panel discussions, Boris Lozhkin suggested businessmen where to invest in conditions of the recession. He prefers to direct finances into charity – recently, he donated 9 million hryvnias to the Center for Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. He also renamed the street in Kharkov in honor of Righteous Among the Nations; signed the contract with the American Jewish Committee and handed out the Medals of Honor. The former Head of the Presidential Administration doesn’t forget even about the mental food: Boris Lozhkin performed the premiere screening of the “Road to Babi Yar” movie and attended Malevich exhibition. What’s the point? We don’t believe in an ordinary spontaneous activity shortly before the elections. But what is this for? In 2016, after he left the Presidential Administration, the political analyst Viktor Nebozhenko anticipated the future political start. He said that Boris Lozhkin understood that he won’t earn much money while he’s working with Poroshenko, and time passes by. He is an experienced media person and he definitely knows how to intrigue. Now he keeps the distance from high and mighty, avoids political discussions, and doesn’t comment the upcoming elections. We don’t know anything about his plans, but there’s one clear thing: philanthropy, promotion of the Jewish culture, and 200 + likes under his social media posts is only the top of an iceberg.
The Kharkov Start for Boris Lozhkin’s career
Boris Lozhkin created the first Ukrainian TV-guide “Telenedelya” just after he graduated from the university. PrivatBank supported the young businessman and gave him a chip credit to build his own typography. It was the first stage to the creation of the future empire “Ukrainian Media Holding” (UMH group). Boris Lozhkin understood that it’s easier to develop a business when you’re on the top and decided to become a local deputy. Soon, he was appointed to the position of the advisor of the Minister of Economic Affairs Viktor Suslov. During that period Boris Lozhkin got acquainted with wealthy businessmen from Kharkov: Dobkin, Kernes, and Feldman. And he kept buying media assets which included “Radio-50”, “Kiev Vedomosti” (belonged to Michail Brodsky), “Europa Plus”, “Melody”, and so on. Holding was enlarged by sports print media, Ukrainian analogs of Russian newspapers like “Izvestiya”, “Strictly Confidential”, “Express Gazette”. Soon, Boris Lozhkin completed the country’s market with Forbes and Vogue. More than 50 brands joined UMH at the end of the 90th. Before 2014, the company was a leader in the Ukrainian market, it actively tapped into the Russian market, and a top player in the publishing industry. And let’s come back to Russia. Boris Lozhkin never broke the business relations with this country. He even was awarded the title “The Best Russian Media Manager” and got the certificate of the Federation Soviet “for contribution to the progress of mass media in Ukraine strengthening of good neighbourship between two countries”. Valentina Matvienko shook his hand and said then: ”You have to be a professional and a great friend for Russia if you want to develop such kind of a project. You also have to understand the importance of the mission it completes because we appreciate the cooperation with Ukrainian friendly nation and intercommunication. It’s important for us to enrich each other, our cultures, develop our friendship and the Russian language in Ukraine”. The revolution and war started in Ukraine in four months.
Lozhkin not only completed a high-class mass media portfolio but also built a professional network. Among the UMH co-owners were Petro Poroshenko, oligarchs Rinat Akhmetov, Igor Surkis, and Gennadiy Bogoliubov.
The Deal of the Century
In June 2013, Boris Lozhkin suddenly announced that he sells 98 % of UMH share to VETEK group of companies. The deal became a big international scandal. Boris Lozkin explained his decision with two reasons: the economics decay; the society is bending under the dictatorship. In his opinion, it’s impossible to develop a media business in such conditions. Sergei Kurchenko’s VETEK paid EUR 315 million for the holding.
An old good Lozkin’s friend Igor Mazepa helped him to find a customer. Mazepa became famous in a privatization sector in 90th and now he is an owner of Concorde Capital. He not only organized the deal but he also helped Kurchenko financially. According to UP, Mazepa was a member of the Supervisory Council of Ukreximbank which gave $ 160 million to Yanukovich’s sponsor.
Igor Mazepa and Boris Lozhkin who was afraid of media censor gave a colossal resource to the Party of Regions. Thanks to this deal, they were greatly prepared for Euromaidan. During the first week after the change of the owner, journalists started to quit UMH mass media because they didn’t want to work under pressure of the Party. Boris Lozhkin didn’t write the sum of the purchase in a declaration despite the fact that he had to pay taxes from this budget. This is how the country got the monopoly of “the family” instead of money. Lozhkin and Mazepa still mention this deal as an iconic one for the Ukrainian history. But the Prosecution Office of Austria didn’t agree with them because it suspected them of money launder.
His People Are Everywhere
On 14th June 2014, Petro Poroshenko appointed him to the position of the Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. He had to fulfill a few important tasks: to be friends with oligarchs, communicate with deputies from different factions and groups, and choose candidates for key positions. Boris Lozhkin collected the army of advisors (18!) and began to hire his close fellows. Mazepa was among these advisors. According to UP, he brought his two insiders. He helped Boris Lozhkin to sell UMH and Boris gave him Ukrspirit in his turn. This factory is a monopoly spirit producer and real corruption monster. Roman Ivaniuk, Mazepa’s friend and one of Concorde Capital top-managers, became the head of Ukrspirit. Ivaniuk became famous after the “transparent” contest for the position of the head of the factory when two candidates with a criminal background became the finalists. Moreover, Mazepa has got the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission. And he appointed one of his top-managers to the position of the head of the Commission again. He chose Andrey Gerus from Concorde Capital for this mission. But Mazepa couldn’t get more, obviously because of the scandal in the US stock exchange market when The United States Securities and Exchange Commission accused his companies of illegal insider data use.
Another advisor, the restaurateur and Lozkin’s mother business-partner Igor Beilin, occupied a place in Petro Poroshenko Bloc. “They asked me if there are people I could recommend to be added to the electoral list and I did. I recommended them because I knew that they have a normal civic position” – said the holder of the Certificate of the Appreciation of the Russian Federation Soviet. Lozhkin let Beilin not only choose the candidates to the Cabinet but also supervise the key ministers – infrastructure and agricultural policy. Konstantin Grigorishin thinks that it’s not right that Lozhkin maintains the personnel policy with restaurateurs and investors-losers or scams. What is more to say, Boris Lozhkin chooses his assistants personally. Alexei Filatov became one of them. He provided legal services to Boris Lozhkin during the scandal UMH purchase and later he took the conduct of the Austrian case. During his leisure time, Filatov rules the key Ukrainian Judicial Reform.
Lozhkin could be bored on the HR-position or just felt the end of Poroshenko’s government, and that’s why he left the Presidential Administration and headed the National Investment Committee. A real businessman, Boris Lozhkin promised to lead Ukraine to $ 5 billion investments, in 2017. But these words meant nothing. The National Committee didn’t meet during two years and Ukraine got only a half of this sum. Moreover, soon, Boris Lozhkin left the position.
Today, Boris Lozhkin is too busy with his business and public life. But everything can change after the elections, he’s too important for the Ukrainian politicians. He never quarrels with anybody and has wonderful relationships with everybody. By the end of the elections, he will visit a few more exhibitions, present several clinics with the equipment, and the brilliant reputation is ready!