Elena Shulyak: businesswoman from Midland at the head of the Servant of the People
Whose interests are protected by the new chairman of the ruling party?
At the Servant of the People congress held on November 15, 2021, instead of the resigned Alexandra Kornienko, who led the party for two years, was elected its chairman Elena Shulyak. The actual decision was made before the formal vote, as Shulyak was the only candidate for the position. But why exactly is she, still a little-known people's deputy at number 13 on the party list? For some, this came as a surprise, since this post was predicted by the rapidly gaining influence Nikolay Tishchenko - godfather of the head of the OP Andrey Yermak. However, before the vote, Tishchenko himself clarified everything, telling reporters that he supported Shulyak's candidacy. And this means that the new chairman of the ruling party can only be a zits-chairman.
Of course, such an assumption does not fit with the image of a “strong woman and a professional”, which is now being diligently promoted in the media. Some write her praises like "Elena Shulyak is the No. 1 businesswoman in Ukraine, who has achieved success in a minimum amount of time." Others simply reprint her official biography with a list of achievements, which is so far the only complete source of information. Therefore, to learn more about Elena Shulyak, you need to try to look between the lines.
Childhood, study, husband
Elena Alekseevna Shulyak (nee Oksenyuk, in some media they mistakenly write Osenyuk) was born on January 24, 1976 in Kyiv. She is not a native of Kiev: her father came to the capital from the Volyn region, and her mother comes from Cherkasy. By the time their daughter was born, the parents received a new apartment in the Minsk (now Obolonsky) district, where Elena grew up. There she studied at school No. 231, which she entered a year earlier, and therefore graduated from it in 1992, at the age of 16.
In choosing her first higher education, she stopped at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Kyiv Automobile and Road Institute (KADI), which only in 2000 received its current loud name of the National Transport University. Shulyak graduated in 1997, but for some reason her biography is silent about what she did for the next two years. The statement “began entrepreneurial activity after graduation” is incorrect, because her first enterprise, LLC "Audit firm "Standard" (there are audit firms with similar names) Shulyak registered only in August 1999, after receiving the appropriate certificate. The reason for this "gap" is still unknown, but it noticeably lubricates the painstakingly created picture of the "successful businesswoman."
Perhaps these two years Elena Shulyak arranged her personal life, about which she does not like to be frank. We only know that her husband Alexander Shulyak (wedding date undisclosed) has been practicing law since January 1998. In 2012, he established a law firm in the field of buying and selling real estate "Engiai Group" (in 2020 he rewrote it to a certain Victoria Rogach), in 2013 he became a co-founder of the VSP Group law firm, and in 2016 became the founder and director of the company "Business Travel Solutions" (also connected with real estate). They have a daughter, Daria, already an adult, who studied at the Institute of International Relations of the Kiev National University.
"Steel Jews" and their auditor
To “succeed in the minimum amount of time”, it is not enough just to open your own company. Elena Shulyak could spend all the money on advertising her "Standard" without waiting for clients. But she was incredibly lucky to get a very solid and, most importantly, regular client almost immediately - which was the Ukrainian branch of the Midland Resources corporation (the main company is registered in Toronto). A few months later, Standard became part of the financial and industrial group Midland Group (registered in the British offshore Guernsey), becoming its official personal auditor.
It seems that Standard was created not at all “for good luck”, but precisely at the request of Midland Resources, which just in 1999 participated in the first stage of the privatization of Zaporizhstal and needed audit services. After all, it would be unlikely that a corporation, which was already turning over hundreds of millions of dollars, would have hired an unknown 23-year-old girl who had just decided to become an auditor for this! However, Elena Shulyak prefers to keep quiet about the secret of her phenomenal success, which she achieved at the very first step in business.
"Midland Resources" was created in the 90s by the former head of the shop "Dneprospetsstal" Eduard Shifrin (classmate Evgenia Chervonenko) and the son of repatriates from Leningrad, who eventually settled in Canada, Alexander Schneider. These companions are called "steel Jews": they started a joint business in 1993, starting with barter schemes for Russian coal and Ukrainian metal, quickly “spudding” the Zaporizhstal metallurgical plant. He gave them the basic capital to launch a multi-billion dollar business in Ukraine, Russia and 30 other countries. But they bought the last 25% of Zaporizhstal in 2001 from the State Property Fund for only 13 million dollars - despite the fact that the annual profit of the plant exceeded 100 million! The history of privatization and subsequent resales of Zaporizhstal is a classic of domestic corruption and deriban, seasoned with crime (some of the participants in this privatization "poisoned themselves with lead").
Elena Shulyak gave the "steel Jews", as they say, the best years of her life. From the moment her "Standard" entered the "Midland Group" and until 2006, she headed the department of audit and analysis of financial and economic activities there. Along the way, improving qualifications, in 2003-2005. she completed a correspondence course at the International Institute of Management, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Midland Group also paid for her a course in several disciplines at Carnegie Mellon Tepper Business School, which she pathosly entered on her resume as an "internship abroad."
From 2005 to 2007, she was delegated to the Supervisory Board of Express-Bank CJSC, controlled by Igor Dvoretsky - another "steel Jew" from Zaporozhye, who was then a shareholder and member of the board of Zaporizhstal. And then Shifrin and Schneider gave Shulyak a new important assignment...
The auditor becomes a "business woman"
The huge money that Shifrin and Schneider brought from their metallurgical enterprises in Ukraine and Russia, they invested in real estate. Their projects of commercial housing, office centers, malls, etc. were implemented in Kyiv, Moscow, New York (even together with Trump), Hong Kong. In 2007, Elena Shulyak was transferred to the real estate field, who first headed the Kyiv department of the Russian Midland Development, and a year later became the director of the specially established Midland Development Ukraine.
At first everything went like clockwork. Midland Development Ukraine put into operation quite large facilities, such as an office center on Turovskaya (Kyiv). But then came the 2008 crisis, against which Shifrin and Schneider spent asset section, and then Shifrin, who got the Eurasian part of the Midland Group, decided to leave Ukraine, gradually selling off assets (the process stretched from 2010 to 2014). Financing of construction projects was transferred from Ukrainian banks to Russian branches (VTB Moscow credited the Sigma business center), and then it began to decline. Construction projects of "Midland Development Ukraine" began to stop: the completion of the same business center "Sigma" was postponed first to 2012, then to the beginning of 2014, and eventually put into operation in 2015.
When funding from Shifrin ended altogether, Midland Development Ukraine had to independently seek funds to complete the facilities. Elena Shulyak "spun" as soon as possible, in search of loans and investors, so she could not finish her third higher education at KNU, where in 2010-2012 she studied in absentia in the specialty "psychology".
But this difficult period benefited her in some ways: Elena Shulyak became a fairly well-known person in the construction business in Kyiv and made many useful contacts. In 2010, the newspaper "Delo" even included her in its Top 100 Ukrainian "business women", and at the same time she became one of the winners of the "National Real Estate Award".
Elena Shulyak (left) at the competition "National real estate award - 2010"
After the Maidan: the transformation of consciousness and business
Like many representatives of the current government with a pro-Russian past or Russian roots, Elena Shulyak also assured journalists that during the second Maidan, there was practically a turning point in her mind, and she took the side of patriotism. Literally she said the following: "Until 2014, Midland Development was part of a financial and industrial group that worked in Ukraine, Russia, Canada, the USA and Europe. But when the Revolution of Dignity took place in Ukraine, the company's shareholders decided not to work in our country". And then she added that she "divorced" from her former employers over political views!
Lies do not suit a businesswoman and the head of the ruling party, and ridiculous lies are generally unacceptable! But, perhaps, Olena Shulyak considers Ukrainians to be idiots who do not know how to google, unable to find reliable information about exactly when Midland Group left Ukraine, leaving Midland Development Ukraine without their own funding. So the Maidan and politics have nothing to do with it, but now we have to doubt the sincerity of Elena Shulyak!
And yet, 2014 was a turning point for Elena Shulyak - in terms of business. In view of the fact that Midland Development Ukraine no longer had money for independent construction projects, the company was re-profiled to provide audit and consulting services in the construction business. And then it was even more interesting: if you look into her registration data, you can see that until August 2019, Midland Development Ukraine was registered with an offshore company from the Seychelles, Infrair Assets LTD. By the way, Creator LLC was registered on the same offshore, which Shulyak became a co-owner in October 2017 (and still is), which recently caused a small scandal: in October 2021, at the initiative of the Ukrainian News publication , NABU start checking regarding Shulyak's involvement in this offshore.
However, Elena Shulyak, like President Zelensky, does not see anything reprehensible in their offshore companies. And much more interesting is not offshore, but small numbers of amounts in the authorized capital of firms. Watch your hands: Until August 18, 2017, Creator LLC has no authorized capital at all, and then it appears in the amount of 99 million hryvnia, of which 75,24 million belongs to Olga Zaremba. This is an old colleague of Elena Shulyak, since 2005 she worked at Midland Group, since 2007 she was the financial director of Midland Development Ukraine, and in 2014 she also became the executive director of MA.Group Andrey Malafeev. Two months later, on October 18, 2017, half of Zaremba's share (UAH 37,62 million) was transferred to Olena Shulyak - by sale or donation, it is not known.
We see a similar picture in Midland Development Ukraine, owned by these friends: until the beginning of 2020, its authorized capital was only 100 thousand hryvnias (half and half between Shulyak and Zaremba), and then one day it grew to 3,6 million (1,8 million each each). Agree that this is good money for ordinary auditors, whose construction business went bankrupt in 2014 due to lack of funding. Maybe that's why it burned out?
In the ranks of the Soros
«Before the Maidan, I was not interested in politics. But after the Revolution of Dignity, I wanted to be useful, to change the processes in the country”, - Elena Shulyak, who “saw the light”, told reporters, trying to explain what she was doing in the period 2014-2019. What was really behind those words?
In the 2014 elections to the Kyiv City Council, it was number 5 on the list of the Democratic Alliance, but the party got only two mandates. Whether Shulyak really wanted to make the life of the people of Kiev better or just wanted to get closer to the construction and architectural departments of the capital, of course, is unknown. At the same time, she became the head of the Supervisory Board of Ukrainian Construction Community LLC (Ukrainian Building Community). Its founder is the aforementioned Andrey Malafeev, and the enterprise itself has not shown itself in any way - even its website has not been working for a long time. But on the other hand, this became another line in the resume of businesswoman Elena Shulyak, as well as her participation in the competition for the position of head of the State Fiscal Service (April 2015), which was called scandalous and sham. Anyone who met the requirements could participate in it: a total of 66 applications were submitted, the competition commission selected a deputy from the BPP Oksana Sold, and as a result, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Roman Nasirova.
In September 2015, the frustrated Elena Shulyak was “picked up” Alexey Goncharuk, who then headed the created "sorosenko" Aivaras Abromavicius and Western structures "Office for effective regulation" (BRDO), which later became a forge of personnel for "servants of the people". This became for Shulyak as a fateful event as the meeting with Shifrin and Schneider once did! Goncharuk immediately offered her to head the Construction sector in BRDO, and Shulyak diligently fit into the new team, showing herself as an active "social activist" and an even more active lobbyist for the interests of capital developers.
Along the way, Shulyak in 2016 became a co-founder and one of the vice-presidents of the State Union "Union of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs" (among the founders - Aivaras Abromavicius), and in 2018 Goncharuk brought her to another "Soros" organization "People are important", whose name is strong reminiscent of Soros-funded Black Lives Matter. Plus, Shulyak became a co-founder of such "Soros" projects as "People of Action" - together with the "Soros" Maxim Nefedov, Galina Yanchenko (called children of Donbass "unwashed and unkempt") and Ostap Ednak, as well as the "Young Presidents Organization Kiev Chapter" - associated with the structures Victor Pinchuk (Ukrainian friend of Soros).
And yet, even with such a track record, even being included in the list of “Servants of the People” according to Goncharuk’s personal quota, the place number 13 given to Elena Shulyak seemed too high for her already. As if she received it for some merits that only a narrow circle of the party leadership knew about, or her candidacy was promoted by people much more influential than Goncharuk. This is not only our assumption: even her fellow MPs still know little about Elena Shulyak! So, a purely captive acquaintance within the walls of parliament, mixed with gossip ...
"Servant of the President"
In the Verkhovna Rada, Olena Shulyak was also showered with “buns”: she became the deputy head of the faction, received the position of deputy chairman of the committee on local self-government, regional development and urban planning, and on November 15, 2019, she became the representative of the Cabin in the Verkhovna Rada - replacing Irina Vereshchuk. When in January 2020 the Minister for the Development of Communities and Territories Alena Babak resigned, Goncharuk offered her the seat of Shulyak. It seemed that here it is, a cherished desire - after all, it is this ministry that is now dealing with construction issues! But for some reason, Elena Shulyak refused, as if she knew that the days of the Goncharuk government were numbered. And when he also resigned, Shulyak transferred the powers of the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers Vasily Mokan.
However, she quickly found a common language with the new Minister for the Development of Communities and Territories, Alexei Chernyshev. About their "great friendship" that arose after Shulyak became a member of the parliamentary VSK on the investigation of facts of corruption in the bodies of state architectural and construction control and supervision, the media in detail Reported in February 2021. At the same time, she highlighted Shulyak's long-standing relationship with the well-known capital developer Lev Partskhaladze, although forgetting about another important connection with Denis Komarnitsky, Nikolai Tishchenko's best friend.
However, most of all, Elena Shulyak tried to be friends with President Zelensky, diligently demonstrating her loyalty to him. So, she undertook to literally sing of the presidential program "Great Life": she headed the inter-factional deputy association "For Great Construction", performed together with Sergei Leshchenko on special public platforms of the program, advertised it in special social networks. roller skates. Moreover, continuing to do this even when “great thieves” became for Ukrainians an obvious synonym for corruption and embezzlement.
Elena Shulyak herself diligently avoids scandals, resorting to the methods “you are all lying!” or “oh, I didn’t know!”. For example, in December 2019, the government launched the “developer’s electronic office” project (quick paperwork without bureaucratic red tape), which Shulyak was the author of while working at BRDO (having received a solid grant for this). At the first stage, through the "e-cabinet" it was allowed to issue a permit for the construction of individual housing construction and industrial buildings up to 4 floors. However, a few months later, a multi-storey residential skyscraper in Podil was put into operation through it. Shulyak, warning a resonant scandal, hastened to write about it herself on Facebook, outraged by the swindlers.
On the whole, Elena Shulyak’s vigorous “reformist” activity boils down to the principle of reducing or even abolishing state regulatory bodies in the field of architecture and construction, where possible, and transferring their functions to private firms where they cannot be dispensed with. As you might guess, in this case, the interests of the "Soros" and the personal interests of Elena Shulyak as the owner of "Midland Development Ukraine" completely coincide! Because if these reforms succeed, then Shulyak will be able to re-profile his company for the issuance of building permits.
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