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In controversial interview, Yanukovych shows only tiny part of notorious Mezhyhiria estate

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June 28, 2011, 11:03 p.m. | Politics — by Kyiv Post

President Viktor Yanukovych gives a tour of his Mezhyhirya estate to a select group of journalists.

Kyiv Post

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In an interview aired on June 28 on several leading Ukrainian television channels, President Viktor Yanukovych gave a tour of his notorious Mezhyhiria estate located north of Kyiv.

But he showed only a tiny part of the 135-hectare, multi-million-dollar luxury-filled and safely guarded compound which he first promised to show more than one year ago. He showed a 1.7 hectare territory where he claims to reside, ingoring and not explaining who owns and what is located on the rest of the territory. In yet another and troubling sign of how loyal top television channels have become under his leadership, a half dozen television journalists handpicked for the interview by Yanukovych’s press service failed – at least in portions of the interview aired – to ask about or request to see the rest of the compound.

These select journalists, including political talk show stars Savik Shuster, Evgeni Kiselev and Oleksandr Tkachenko, were chosen instead of a group of journalists that have for more than one year called upon Yanukovych to show them his estate.

Aired versions of the interview lasted about two hours.

Conducted in Ukrainian and Russian language days ago, the interview started off with a tour of a 1.7 hectare portion of Mezhyhiria which, according to documents, belongs to Yanukovych. Yanukovych appeared to admit to owning the estate, but controversy has long haunted him over how it was legally acquired and where he got the money to develop it.

The inside of a house was decorated with what looked like expensive furniture. Just outside journalists were shown a newly constructed swimming pool, sauna and wooded area where Yanukovych claimed to exercise (See photographs in Ukrainian language Ukrainska Pravda report).Journalists were also shown picturesque landscape that included an artificial waterfall.

A more formal sit-down interview later commenced under a rotunda that overlooked the pool area and a nearby, well-kept garden.

During the interview, none of the journalists asked about the larger 130-hectare area of the Mezhyhiria territory which can be clearly viewed via satellite photos and is seen to be not only adjacent, but appears to be part of the same integrated compound. According to reports, it is owned by a web of domestic and offshore companies that have been linked to Yanukovych’s family and close associates.

The territory includes a massive, multi-levellog cabin and Yacht club which is located along the so-called Kyiv Sea, a huge lake created by a damn that restricts flow of the Dnipro River further down to Kyiv.

According to reports by the respected Ukrainska Pravda website, the territory also includes an indoor tennis court which Yanukovych supposedly uses. Construction of a golf course also appears to be underway, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

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Anonymous June 28, 2011, 11:17 p.m.    

Where's the deed?

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Anonymous June 29, 2011, 12:06 a.m.    

Were these court reporters also bestowed with roses and cake by Chepak?

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Anonymous June 29, 2011, 1:01 a.m.    

once the revolution hits this place will be repatriated

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Anonymous June 29, 2011, 5:32 a.m.    

Don't forget Yanu had to wait longer than expected to receive his entitlements. This property should have been occupied sometime in 2005. Putin had anointed him to be Ukraine's president in 2004 over and

above the Ukrainian people and twice congratulated him for his victory before the vote gathering officially

ended. What a great reward for the formerly egalitarian and atheist Soviet Communist. Since he's found

religion he's chosen Russian Orthodoxy as his avowed faith and he is the president of a nation called Ukraine with its own Orthodox church. This is all sickening and unseemly and an insult to the entire

Ukrainian nation.

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Anonymous June 29, 2011, 12:11 p.m.    

Mr President,

Ukrainians do not like Tsars.

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Anonymous June 29, 2011, 1:19 p.m.    

Some people here in this forum seem to be envious ...

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Anonymous June 29, 2011, 5:44 p.m.    

Envious? How can you be envious of a corrupt thief! and a convicted criminal at that!He makes me want to throw up! He's practically robbing the country to maintain his wealthy lifestyle, while the rest of us have to struggle to find work and feed our families. It is a well known fact that he aquired Mezhyhiria by corrupt means. He has since stolen millions more to upgarde it, and the extent of his loot will only be revealed when his time comes to be thrown back to his prison cell!

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