KyivPost

Yanukovych’s smooth ride to Mezhyhirya mansion

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Aug. 19, 2010, 10:34 p.m. | Ukraine — by Anna Levytska

Work in progress on the road leading to President Viktor Yanukovych’s suburb mansion on Aug.9.
© Olga Novak

Drivers on Ukraine’s potholed main highways are, at last, seeing the pace of road construction picking up.

But there is one obscure side road – the one leading to President Viktor Yanukovych’s Mezhyhirya mansion – that is getting lavish attention. It is getting repaved and lit at lightning speed. Taxpayers appear to be shelling out millions of hryvnias, but not because so many motorists travel the 8.4 kilometer-route north from Kyiv to the small village of Novi Petrivtsi.

The VIP destination is the reason. The road leads to the entrance of the well-guarded presidential estate, a luxurious residence acquired under dubious methods by Yanukovych. Through a complicated web of front companies to throw people off the trail, Yanukovych and close associates acquired the notorious multi-hectare lakeside estate at a fire sale price from its previous owners, the people of Ukraine.

Winding roads

Officials argue the stretch of road from Kyiv to Novi Petrivtsi is being repaired within the framework of a planned reconstruction of a part of the Kyiv-Vyshhorod-Desna road. The entire project carries a price tag of about 5 million euros.

That’s only a relatively small portion of the 1.5 billion euros set aside this year for road reconstruction, but critics say such spending on a little-traveled byway reflects misplaced priorities in government spending.

Moreover, authorities struggle to explain why a nearly two- kilometer offshoot of the road that leads only to Yanukovych’s estate has been repaved with great attention to quality and detail.

The Service for Automobile Roadways in Kyiv Oblast, a subsidiary of the state road administration Ukravtodor, did the work. Its head, Leonid Hlapiionov, begged off questions, saying he was new to the job.

Vasyl Maksymchuk, the assistant head of the Service for Automobile Roadways in Kyiv Oblast, denied that preference was given to Yanukovych.

“All the roads can be for Yanukovych, insomuch as they can be for you,” he said. “[This road] was repaired 26 years ago, and by technical rules, this needs to be done every 12-14 years.”

Maksymchuk brushed aside allegations that many of Ukraine’s more-traveled roads should have been fixed first. He did, however, confirm information that the asphalt used to put a new layer on the Yanukoyvch road is of the highest quality.

While many of Ukraine’s roads are dark at nighttime – including major highways going through villages – the sleepy road to Yanukovych’s Mezhyhirya residence is well lit with street lights.

Such street lights along portions of major highways going through villages, where children, pensioners and animals risk their lives by crossing the road as cars race by.


Opposition criticism


Serhiy Vlasenko, a lawmaker within opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc, said the Yanukovych road – plus his non-transparent method of acquiring a luxury state residence – demonstrates abuse of power, the weakness of democracy and basic rule of law in Ukraine.

“I know that Ukravtodor does not have ‘special’ funds from which costs for special renovations would be allocated,” he said. “They use the general costs that were received from the state budget for road repair. I am convinced that in the plans of Ukravtodor, the repair of this road appeared at the last moment upon orders from high up.”

The controversial road repair could become an issue ahead of the Oct. 31 local government elections, as villagers all throughout Ukraine know very well the sorry state of many of their roads.


Kyiv Post staff writer Anna Levytska can be reached at levytska@kyivpost.com.



Read also 'Not there yet' editorial.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Aug. 19, 2010, 10:43 p.m.    

Still hope ... as long as there are still journalists with the courage of Anna Levytska to provide the public with such information, and news channels like the Kyiv Post which have still not been shut down.

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Anonymous Aug. 20, 2010, 1:33 a.m.    

True. And, well written.

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Anonymous Aug. 20, 2010, 5:42 p.m.    

Congratulations again on another well done story. Now get the rest of the paper in line and quit being a shill for the government press releases of Interfax and you will truly show progress!

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Anonymous Aug. 20, 2010, 8:54 p.m.    

Really all Ukrainian politicians are pure criminal scum. All steal without shame or fear of being exposed. They simply treat the people without respect and show them disdain. Yanuconvict is just one in a long line of thieving scum.

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Anonymous Aug. 21, 2010, 7:45 p.m.    

&quot;Yanuconvict&quot; :))))))))

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Anonymous Aug. 21, 2010, 6:59 a.m.    

To the Lvov disapora people complaining about Yanu having the road fixed. There were pot holes on it! It needed to be fixed! Get a life You stupid so called ukrainian patriots who live IN USA AND CANADA and NOT Ukraine, Worry about your own problems. like your increasingly homo country. Gay marriage is about to be universally legal from your Supreme Court so go and worry about the problems in your OWN country.

&quot;Les&quot; obviously is a loser who has no life except for sitting all hours of the day, commenting about events in a country that the faggot doesnt even live in.

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Anonymous Aug. 21, 2010, 4:47 p.m.    

What is the difference between married gays in the US and Canada and Yanukonvikt, criminal in chief of Ukraine?

Answer:

When gays drive on roads in the US and Canada, they don't have to drive over potholes.

When Yanukonvikt drives in Ukraine, the only place he can drive on a road without potholes - on a special road open only to him which leads to the mansion he stole.

Seems to me that gays in the US and Canada are in a better situation than Yanukonvikt, the prez of Firtashia.

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Anonymous Aug. 21, 2010, 2:40 p.m.    

Say boy: Havin' a bad day? It is a given in psychological abstracts that invective of a sexual nature generally refers back to sexual insecurity of the person making the comment.

Are you having to repress some feelings? Do you need to talk?

Maybe you haven't noticed but the interest of most foreign men here is in your women (humorous, juxtaposition).

Do you not go there?

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Anonymous Aug. 21, 2010, 7:44 p.m.    

Another homophobic rambling. Why are you so afraid of gay?

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Anonymous Aug. 23, 2010, 9:04 a.m.    

Homophobia is often a characteristic of repressed homosexual feelings.

Beware road workers of bending over to fix a pothole when this poster is around.

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Anonymous Aug. 21, 2010, 11:43 a.m.    

Hello I have been visiting the Ukraine since 1993, in Yaroviv, near Lviv, potholes in the road have been there for the last 27 years. The road from the border to Lviv is also covered in potholes and has been for that period of time, if you ask as anything changed? Then the answer is yes! The potholes have got larger! Yanukovych, should be repairing all the main road links with potholes, not making a smooth ride to is mansion!

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Anonymous Aug. 22, 2010, 4:54 a.m.    

it would be better if was a road to hell...oh...in fact, Yanu is paving that road too already...he likes the heat

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