The three-term mayor of the 100,000 residents of Uzhgorod in western Ukraine, Serhiy Ratushnyak decided to dream big and run for president.
A mechanical engineer, he founded and headed a syndicate of 52 companies in Soviet times, including banks, liquor plants and groceries. Arrested in 2000 on charges of embezzlement and forgery, he was nevertheless elected as a lawmaker. He wants to tax the rich, develop nuclear arms and oblige all Ukrainians to learn another foreign language, apart from Russian. Experts, however, think that his real mission is to continue roughing up Arseniy Yatseniuk, one of the top five candidates. In August 2009, Ratushnyak made anti-Semitic comments after an alleged attack on one of Yatseniuk’s volunteers.
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