He is believed to be the most intelligent mayor of the country. He is believed to turn Lviv into the tourist paradise. Besides he is not a simple mayor, he is the leader of a powerful political party. Who Andriy Sadovyi actually is?
The mid-nineties. The so-called voucher privatization has started in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Every Ukrainian has got the ownership certificates of the state enterprises, thus becoming the co-owners of those enterprises. Common people had no clue how to use their ownership, but the merchants have rather quickly found out how to make a fortune.
Year of 1995. “Halytski Investytsiyi” (Galicia Investments) company was founded in Lviv. Andriy Sadovyi became a chairman of its Supervisory Board. The company encouraged other people to give them their ownership certificates, claiming that the “Halytski Investytsiyi” would manage the state enterprises, and the common people would receive their dividends.
“Andriy Sadovyi was one of the founders of the company “Halytski Investytsiyi.” A good advertisement campaign was conducted then, some people invested big money, and they convinced people to replace the ownership certificates with certificates of the “Halytski Investytsiyi” as if it was more lucrative when others manage the securities. As a result, the company and Andriy Sadoviy have got great assets valued at hundreds of millions of dollars,” Yuriy Sytnyk, political observer, stated.
“Halytski Investytsiyi” have received the shares of many dairies, factories, concrete plants, and even the oil refining complex.
In the late 90s, the company suddenly went bankrupt. And all the certificates were gone too. Thanks to voucher privatization and “Halytski Investytsiyi” numerous state-owned enterprises came under the control of oligarchs.
After the bankruptcy of “Halytski Investytsiyi,” Sadovyi’s career has flourished greatly.
In 1998, he became a Lviv City Council member. In 2002, Sadovyi ran for the mayor but lost the elections.
Back in the 90s, Sadovyi has got his own TV channel, radio station, and a newspaper and subsequently realized how to use this resource. In 2004, the Samopomich (Self Reliance) public and political association were created. Sadovyi urged Lviv citizens to call his organization to solve some problems with the utilities. Accompanied by TV cameras, Samopomich activists forced public utilities to repair the roofs, houses, and roads.
In 2006, Sadovyi was elected the city mayor of Lviv. Lviv has become Ukraine’s attractive tourist center during his office, in fact, the whole city was provided with new lighting, the parks and roads were repaired. For the loan money, of course.
"We took the loans at the rate of 10 hryvnias per euro. Today we return them at the rate of more than 30 hryvnias per euro," said city council deputy Valeriy Veremchuk.
And the locals would return these debts for a long time.
Lviv could lose the right to host Euro 2012 because of Sadovyi. At first, the city council considered that the stadium would cost about 75 million EUR. The city head commissioned the Austrian company Alpina would build the arena, and the Austrians were paid more than three million EUR for creating the project. But then the company has disappeared. The arena was built by another company. Estimates began to grow at times. Arena Lviv has become one of the most expensive ones in the country. 75 million EUR were originally planned to be spent on the construction of the stadium, and, in the end, the city 267 million EUR!
The most European city of Ukraine often suffers from corruption schemes. In 2008, the city budget has allocated 10,5 million hryvnias for the purchase of twenty-two used German trams. And later it turned out that Lviv has overpaid. In general, more than 2 million hryvnias were laundered on the scheme.
In 2018, the city has again purchased used trams from Germany. It has paid 18,000 EUR for each, another 24,000 EUR were costs for "customs clearance," but then a new scandal arose. Electric transport was unsuitable for Lviv. Doors did not open inwards but outwards, and this was incompatible with many city platforms.
Great scandals arise around Lviv municipal property. In 2009, the city council decided to sell the huge "Lviv" hotel in city downtown. Locals call this deal simply: "The theft." The price for one square meter was priced 200 USD. The prosecutor's office has opened criminal proceedings. But that's where it ends.
Another scandal erupted in 2013. Then Lviv city council has put up for sale the building of a department store at Ploshcha Rynok. It was bought by Oleksiy Kurylyshyn, who is close to Sadovyi (Sadovyi is the father of his godchild). The property assessment was conducted by another relative of the mayor, Andriy Sarahmanevich. A building of 1,850 square meters was sold for some 812,150 USD! And its market price is at least 5 million USD.
In addition to this, Lviv has also many land scandals too. In 2015, the city council has sold 23 hectares for only 52 million hryvnias. The Prosecutor General's Office has immediately opened criminal proceedings because the real cost of this site was 142 million hryvnia. That is, the cost was underestimated almost three times.
A huge fire broke out on 29 May at a municipal waste disposal site near Velyki Hrybovychi (around 10 km from the center of Lviv). This is Ukraine’s largest landfill (26 ha) containing dangerous chemical and industrial waste. During the intervention by the fire brigade, four people died buried under the trash. More than 38 hectares of land and mountains of rubbish are as tall as a fifteen-story house. The landfill has long been overloaded. The city head swore that he would deal with this ecological disaster during his first office.
This testing ground founded by hundreds of the largest industrial enterprises. Hundreds of millions of tons of industrial waste were brought here. There are approximately 80 thousand tons of tars. Making money on toxic waste is a simple matter.
Bitumen could be produced out of these tars. A ton of bitumen costs 285 USD, so they earn 40,000 USD per day!
He raised money on the notorious voucher privatization. Lviv municipal property was plundered during his office. But back in the 90s, he realized that politics and media are inseparable things. An intelligent mayor is only an image created by political technologists, and outside he is a sucker for corruption, schemes, and nepotism.