Igor Kolomoisky, the controversial billionaire owner of PrivatBank, was appointed to head Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Serhiy Taruta, the owner of the Industrial Union of Donbass, is taking over the Donetsk Oblast administration. Acting President Olekandr Turchynov made the appointments on March 2.
Other oligarchs have been approached by government envoys with offers to take charge of other potentially troublesome regions since the rise of separatist sentiments in eastern and southern Ukraine, heated up by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Crimea, which began on Feb. 27. Some of them have already refused the offers.
Ukraine’s oligarchs, who own much of Ukraine’s industrial economy, have always exerted their influence on government, but running the government would give them more direct responsibilities and power.