It Pays To Have Friends: Over 30 Government Positions Filled by Zelenskyy Associates15 May, 2020
Over the course of the past year that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been in power, over 30 people who had previously worked on Zelenskyy’s comedy program ‘Studio Kvartal 95’ or their associates, have received government appointments. 12 of these have directly worked at Kvartal 95, while the rest are either from subsidiaries, related companies, or were simply acquainted, related to, or friends with the current president – according to NGO ‘Committee of Voters of Ukraine’.
Many of these posts have been in the Office of the President, as deputies, managers, or aides. But some have also been in Ukraine’s defense structures, in central executive bodies, oversight committees, as parliamentary aides and staff.
The grand majority of these people had no corresponding experience in their roles before assuming them, reports the NGO, while those that had experience saw significant career advancement under Zelenskyy’s administration.
In their statement, the Committee pointed to Zelenskyy’s words as a candidate. At the time, he’d promised to only appoint professionals to government posts instead of friends, but his actions since assuming the presidency have deviated from this promise.
Some well-known friends, associates, colleagues, or otherwise acquaintances of the president currently in government office are:
- Andriy Yermak (friend and producer of Zelenskyy) – presidential chief-of-staff
- Serhiy Trofimov (acting producer at Kvartal 95) – deputy chief-of-staff
- Yuriy Kostyuk (scriptwriter and creative producer of sitcom ‘Servant of the People’) – deputy chief-of-staff
- Serhiy Shefir (scriptwriter, producer, director at Kvartal 95) – presidential aide
- Irina Pobedonostseva (development director at Kvartal 95) – head of the Information Policy department at the Office of the President
- Ivan Bakanov (lawyer and manager at Kvartal 95) – Head of the Security Service of Ukraine
- Serhiy Sivokho (creative producer at Kvartal 95) – ex-advisor to the secretary of the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine
- Vladyslav Bukharev (husband of a Kvartal 95 scriptwriter) – advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs, former head of Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine and former deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine
- Oleksandr Pashkov (husband of a Kvartal 95 accountant) – Director of the Department of Strategic Human Intelligence at the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine
- Marina Kuderchuk (worked with Kvartal 95 in Zaporizhye) – Head of the State Agency On Cinema of Ukraine
- Serhiy Borzov (ex-director of a Ukrainian comedy team) – head of the State Management of Affairs
- Tatyana Rudenko (press secretary at Kvartal 95) – Member of the National Council on Television and Radio
- Julia Metzger (friend of Kvartal 95 actress Elena Kravitz, staff at Ukreximbank) – Member of the Privatbank oversight committee
- Oleksandr Gogilashvili (Zelenskyy associate) – deputy Minister of Internal Affairs