Found at Yanukovich's Opulent Estate: Soaked Files

Documents on activists, lavish spending found in the water
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2014 9:13 AM CST
Found at Yanukovich's Opulent Estate: Soaked Files
An ornamental horse stands outside Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, Kiev's region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb, 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

Ukraine's economy is in crisis, which makes the stories emerging about former President Viktor Yanukovich's water-feature-filled estate stand out all the more. Two main narratives, about what was found in the water, and what else was on the property:

  • Foreign Policy on Saturday reported on what protesters found in the water after getting to Mezhyhirya, Yanukovich's luxe home some 12 miles outside of Kiev: files thrown into what it terms a river (the Wire calls it a moat; AP says it was a lake), ostensibly by the last man out the door. The files, which journalists are in the process of drying via heat gun, include dossiers on journalists and activists, accounting files, and receipts, including one dated September 2010, the year Yanukovich took office, that records a $12 million cash transfer; it doesn't specify the parties on the giving or receiving ends.

  • The estate was formerly state-owned, but Yanukovich "privatized" it, and the AP reports that the found files shine a light on what was spent making that happen. Outfitting the "knight's hall" with curtains cost $110,000; $1.5 million went to the purchase of plants; $2.3 million went to wooden decor for rooms including the "tea room." As for what else Ukrainians found after descending on it on Saturday makes for a roster of luxuries almost too long to list. Highlights, from the Global Post: a pirate galleon anchored on a man-made lake, a golf course, a large vintage car collection, a bar stocked with vodka bottles bearing Yanukovich's face, faux ruins, a boxing ring, a private zoo complete with ostriches, and a church. The AP points out that Yanukovich formerly only described the estate as a modest house on a small plot of land.
Click through the gallery for more pictures of the estate, or the BBC has more here. (More Viktor Yanukovich stories.)

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