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Media: Zelensky’s chief of staff throws secretive birthday celebration at state residence

November 25, 2021 3:28 amby Oleg Sukhov
(Andriy Yermak/Facebook)

President Volodymyr Zelensky again broke his election year promise to not use state residences, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Nov. 24.

Zelensky attended the birthday party of his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, at the presidential residence Synyiohora in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. Both reportedly flew there on Nov. 19 and returned to Kyiv on Nov. 21.

The report tracked a State Emergency Service helicopter going to Syniohora and returning to Kyiv. Ukrainska Pravda cited sources that the helicopter transported party guests.

After the report aired, the Presidential office and Yermak put out confusing statements, where they didn’t confirm or deny the celebration. Yermak’s statement said that he didn’t celebrate his birthday, but added that “the emergency helicopters weren’t used to transport guests,” seemingly indicating there was a celebration after all.

A private jet affiliated with oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky’s Privat group of companies also flew to Ivano-Frankivsk and back that weekend, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

In July 2020, investigative journalists had found that Zelensky moved to a state residence outside of Kyiv, contrary to his promise to never use state residencies. Zelensky’s office said he would stay in the residence temporarily. He hasn’t moved out yet.

Oleg Sukhov
Author: Oleg Sukhov

Oleg Sukhov is a political reporter at the Kyiv Independent. He is a former editor and reporter at the Moscow Times. He has a master's degree in history from the Moscow State University. He moved to Ukraine in 2014 due to the crackdown on independent media in Russia and covered war, corruption, reforms and law enforcement for the Kyiv Post.

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