Mystery in Ukraine: Where Is the Golden Loaf?
Symbol of corruption now symbol of incompetence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2015 5:10 AM CDT
People walk on the grounds of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

(Newser) – In Ukraine, a symbol of the corruption of the ousted Viktor Yanukovich has disappeared and is now a symbol of the new regime's failure to deal with the legacy of that corruption, the Wall Street Journal reports. The "golden loaf"—a golden replica of a loaf of bread that had apparently been presented to the former president by a businessman—was found when his mansion was ransacked during last year's uprising, and its image soon adorned key chains and the like to represent the end of government stealing from the people, Time reports. A criminal investigation was opened in March when the loaf couldn't be located, though so far all that has surfaced are rumors of its whereabouts and suggestions it wasn't even gold, the Journal reports.

"The loaf is a legend, a symbol of corruption. It’s the cherry on the cake of corruption. It’s worth nothing compared to everything else. But it's very telling," the chief of the Ukrainian parliament's anti-corruption committee tells the Journal. "It's a loaf, but what about the rest? By conservative estimates, $10 billion was being stolen every year. Where is it?" Fighting in the east has delayed efforts to tackle lingering corruption, but polls show that Ukrainians are becoming impatient with the government of new President Petro Poroshenko, and a fifth say they are ready to join another uprising, Time reports. (The ransacking of Yanukovich's estate also uncovered ostriches and a pirate ship, as well as files that had been dumped in a river.)