On February 13, known businessman Ihor Kolomoiskyi celebrated his 54th birthday. It is interesting that there were no public congratulations, in particular from the authorities – at least in the information space. The Facebook community though, has celebrated it quite originally. For example, the congratulation post at the UKROP Facebook page, which begins with the words “Today the No. 1 enemy of Putin was born...” has gathered about 1.7 thousand likes, 630 shares, and dozens of comments.
This is definitely a paradox. Indeed, in March 2014, when Ukraine was threatened by the so-called “Russian spring,” none of the oligarchs took the responsibility for a region and stood out against the Kremlin. Except Ihor Kolomoiskyi, who agreed to head Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration. And thanks to his team and under his leadership, the army and the volunteers had managed to stop the aggressor. The rest of them either plainly refused (like Rinat Akhmetov), or had been less effective (like Serhii Taruta leading Donetsk Oblast State Administration). Had Kolomoiskyi not agree, the fate of the entire south and east of Ukraine would not be certain.
No less important was his role in the privatization committee meeting at Verkhovna Rada. Then Ihor Kolomoiskyi called publicly to finally deal with the privatization processes of Kuchma’s era and start playing by the rules. By the way, on Larysa Hubina’s program “In Offices” at Channel 5 Kolomoiskyi said that “Pinchuk is no oligarch, the real oligarch is Kuchma.” As a peculiar response from the authorities came his dismissal from the State Administration and the subsequent arrest of his colleague Hennadii Korban.
One can also recall the information campaign by 1+1 TV channel in coverage of the resonant Gongadze-Podolsky case, including that of the court proceedings on the principal perpetrator of the journalist Georgy Gongadze’s murder and the social activist Oleksii Podolsky’s beating – Oleksii Pukach. No less severe were the programs covering those who ordered these crimes.
Of course, no one idealizes Ihor Kolomoiskyi. He is not white and fluffy... First, there were no saints in the tumultuous 1990s. The country certainly remembers how money was made and what methods were used for that purpose... Secondly, there are certain stories, such as one with Ukrnafta, which left more questions than answers (and in which he showed not the best side of himself). Kolomoiskyi was also criticized for his passive behavior during the trial of his colleague Hennadii Korban...
Still, the future is to judge. In the meantime, Ukrainians remember him as a lively, strong, and responsible man who dared to oppose the enemy on the Dnipro and managed to stop it.