Nicknamed Kosmos, the former banker turned politician is still officially Kyiv mayor, although the country’s leaders have made it clear that Oleksandr Popov, head of the Kyiv State Administration, is the person calling the shots in the capital.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in November compared Chernovetsky to the Queen of England, saying he had a title but no official decision-making role.

Chernovetsky certainly has enough money to live like a king, having sold his Pravex Bank for $750 million in 2008, just before the world economic crisis hit.

And it appears his family is also accustomed to living like royalty: His daughter Kristina reportedly had 4 million euros worth of jewels stolen while she was in a car driving through Paris in February.

The Chernovetskys denied the incident took place.


Kyivans have been left wondering after the quiet city hall coup in November what happened to the mayor.

While former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov reportedly spends lots of time in Austria these days, Kosmos is apparently enjoying his quasi-retirement in that country’s Alpine neighbor, Switzerland.

There is perhaps one more question that ties these two former capital city chiefs – will they be chased after by the new czars to pay for their alleged abuses of power (which they deny) while in office?

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