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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced that he has set a task to draft a bill that would equate corruption with high treason during the period of martial law in the country. This draft law is to be presented to the Verkhovna Rada next week.
This innovation in the legislation is a major concern for officials at various levels. Over the many years of independence, it has become commonplace in Ukraine for men to hold positions in government agencies and for family businesses to be alienated in the names of their wives or parents. This standard corruption model is embodied by Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi and his wife Kateryna Kit-Sadova.
According to the declaration, Mayor Sadovyi declared that he lives on one salary. The declaration states that he received UAH 691,479 as a salary from the Lviv City Council. However, Sadovyi’s wife, 45-year-old Kateryna Kit-Sadova, turned out to be one of the wealthiest women in Western Ukraine, with an estimated net worth of $25 million!
According to the declaration, Kateryna Kit-Sadova received income of UAH 112,850,229 from the sale of securities and corporate rights, and the details of these transactions are not disclosed – is this a secret for the wife of an official of such a level as Andriy Sadovyi? She owns a huge residential building of 1,660.4 m² and 12 land plots in Lviv, the total value of which is estimated at UAH 89 million.
The mayor’s wife also owns five cars, the smallest of which is valued at $45,000. It also has significant cash at the bank – UAH 410,838 and UAH 150,283, as well as UAH 150,000 and USD 100,000 in cash.
Kateryna Kit-Sadova owns shares in Lux TV and Radio Company and Lux Radio Company. She is also the beneficial owner of eight media companies.
In the future, Sadovyi’s wife may become the owner of an additional plot on Kulparkivska Street. This plot has an area of 4 hectares and, according to the plan, the Lviv City Hall will first demolish the educational institution on this site and then transfer it to Kateryna Kit-Sadova. Further, this may allow the mayor to receive up to 20% of the profit from each square meter sold through the “pocket” developer company “Real”. It is expected that these funds will be transferred abroad through offshore companies. According to experts, this manipulation could lead to Andriy Sadovyi receiving more than $1 billion.
Andriy Sadovyi has been the mayor of Lviv since 2006. According to official data, his wife Kateryna Kit-Sadova has a media business that is subsidized by Ukrainian reality TV. It takes at least $5 million a year to maintain this business. Houses, land plots, expensive cars – all this was acquired during the 17 years of the Sadovykh’s business. Kateryna Kit-Sadova is in fact the formal owner of these assets, but her income is not high enough to cover all family expenses.
If President Zelensky’s bill is passed, it could become a powerful tool for holding corrupt officials like Andriy Sadovyi accountable to the law and the citizens of Ukraine. The mayor’s wife, Kateryna Kit-Sadova, who is the richest woman in western Ukraine, may be the first in line for a 15-year prison sentence. Did Andriy Sadovyi have this in mind when he arranged the transfer of his assets to his wife and the mother of his five children?