Serhiy Leshchenko

Serhiy Leshchenko

By peh4, 28 April 2014

The day after President Viktor Yanukovych fled, on 22 February 2014, the world was amazed by the luxury of his Mezhyhirya Residence. But Serhiy Leshchenko was anything but surprised. Chandeliers, marble, private zoo, car collection and airstrip on the bank of the Dnieper, he had already described all of that in detail and had drawn attention to the gulf between this wealth and the president’s official income. He had even investigated the origin of this money in depth. Leshchenko joined the independent news website Ukrainskaya Pravdain 2000, a few days before its founder, Georgi Gongadze was murdered. He is now its deputy editor. Like his colleague Mustafa Nayyem, he quickly became one of Ukraine’s experts on the corrupt practices of its political and business elite. A critic of the Orange Revolution’s broken promises, he was also one of the most lucid observers of the Yanukovych regime’s oligarchic and authoritarian excesses. His reporting is part and parcel of his civic activism. He helped launch the “ Stop Censorship!” press freedom campaign and the “Chesno” campaign for transparency and financial responsibility. His blog is one of the country’s most popular.