Fintech startup born in Ukraine, raised in Singapore closes $2m series A round

Turnkey Lender – a software-as-a-service (SaaS) fintech startup – recently closed a series A funding round worth US$2 million. Vertex Ventures was the only participant in the capital raise.

This is the company’s first institutional funding round. It had previously secured seed funding from SMRK VC Fund.

Turnkey Lender gives financial services providers a cloud-based solution for managing the loans that they give to their clients and customers. It uses machine learning technology to analyze and assess loan applicants.

Judicial statistics – Corruption battle seems insignificant and symbolic only

So, now for some H1 2017 statistics from the current head of the Supreme Court, Yaroslav Romanyuk “In the first half of the year, 2237 indictments on criminal proceedings on corruption crimes were received by the courts, of which only 741 were considered.”

The remainder, presumably, in a backlog together with other cases from previous years that remain, as yet, unheard. That said, the wheels of justice inevitably turn slowly even in far more efficient systems replete with far more judges and functionaries of far higher moral codes and group integrity.

Just how large the carryover into 2018 will be by the end of 2017 remains to be seen. Dozens of minnows and plankton are arrested for corruption on a daily basis as a quick glance across the regional media ably displays.

However, having been offered some numbers by the Supreme Court, it is perhaps necessary to look to the outcomes, statistically (if not at the standard of due process) of the 741 cases that reached the court in H1 of 2017.

Before breaking down the 741 cases, a reader should note that the numbers that follow don’t add up – but they are nevertheless the figures cited by the Supreme Court – thus any inaccuracies are at least accurately stated.

There were 77 acquittals.

110 companies were closed as a result of judicial verdicts.

469 officials were found guilty of corruption. Of those 469 officials, 121 went to jail. 33 suffered some form of non-custodial punishment other than purely fines, and 265 were indeed fined.

To get behind the 469 number of officials found guilty of corruption, 101 were middle and lower grade civil servants and/or institutional functionaries. 58 were Ministry of Interior employees, (including police officers), 44 military officials or various ranks, 32 local government officials, 29 law enforcement officials (not police nor prosecutors), 19 city, town and village heads, 18 deputies of local government/local councils, and 13 employees of the State Fiscal Service.

Only 2 prosecutors, a single employee of the court administration (but not a judge) and a single member of the security services also feature within that 469 number.

Ryanair drops plans to serve Ukraine – Oligarch Kolomoisky protects his interests

Ukrainians should boycott UIA.

The low-cost carrier scrubbed its plans last month, accusing Boryspil International Airport in Kiev of bowing to the wishes of its largest customer, flag-carrier Ukraine International Airlines (UIA). . . .

Within hours of the agreement collapsing, Volodymyr Groysman, Ukraine’s prime minister, pleaded with Ryanair to resume negotiations. His infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, scolded UIA for meddling in the process. But government officials are not the only powerbrokers in Ukraine. Ihor Kolomoisky (pictured), the billionaire oligarch who part-owns UIA, has now filed court claims against the government, seeking to have all Ryanair contracts annulled and, quite remarkably, demanding compensation for the mere prospect of future competition.

NY Times Quietly Retracts part of Trump-Russia story

The New York Times has been forced to (finally) retract a popular Democratic talking point that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Russia conducted cyber attacks on the U.S. during the 2016 election.

As Consortium News reports, The New York Times’ correction came after the outlet, in a report on Monday, mocked President Donald Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help him get elected.”

Today, The New York Times removed that portion of the article and stated – way at the bottom of the piece – the following:

Correction: June 29, 2017

A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.

“The Times’ grudging correction was vindication for some Russia-gate skeptics who had questioned the claim of a full-scale intelligence assessment, which would usually take the form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a product that seeks out the views of the entire Intelligence Community and includes dissents,” reports Consortium News.

BitFury to Help in Moving Ukraine’s Land Registry to Blockchain (I’ll believe it when I see it)

Nice idea.

We have signed the memorandum of commitment to move Ukraine’s land registry to blockchain. The technology ensures maximum protection of the system against third-party interference. The registry contains data on land plots, legally significant information, so all these data is really sensitive and important for landowners. That’s why we pay much attention to protecting this information. Fortunately, blockchain technology is there,” Maxim Martyniuk, the first deputy minister for Ukraine’s agricultural policy, said.

According to Martyniuk, today blockchain is the most advanced method of data protection. The process of blockchainizing the land registry is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

Photo of Ukrainian wrestling legend Ivan Piddubny

Poddubny was born on John the Apostle day in 1871 into a family of Zaporozhian Cossacks[3][4][5][6][7] in the village of Krasenivka, in the Zolotonosha county (uyezd) of the Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Chornobai Raion of Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine). Having a big family Poddubny senior had a difficult time to provide for his big family, therefore Ivan was forced to leave the father’s house before turning 20.[1] As a young man, Poddubny worked as a fitter in the ports of Sevastopol and Feodosiya for seven years earning a nickname of Ivan the Great.[1] In Feodosiya Ivan started to practice with kettlebells and participated in some wrestling fights.[1] Sometime since 1897[1]-1898 he started traveling with circus tours and performed at first Sevastopol and later Kiev arenas.

. . . .

While touring in Rostov, Ivan meets his future second wife whom he marries in 1923.[1] In 1920s he was touring the United States staying undefeated while visiting New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco. During his tour in the United States he was forced to fight freestyle as his opponents.[2] At age 56 Ivan won a beauty contest among men in the United States.[1] Being unable to take out his earned half a million dollars from the bank (required to be a citizen), he left for home.[1] Upon return, he found out that his relatives whom he spared some of his land were classified as kulaks.[1] In 1937 the NKVD agents detained him in the Rostov prison for a year where he was tortured, due to his corrections in the passport.[2] The NKVD agents also were requesting from Poddubny to tell about his bank accounts abroad where he could have held money earned for his fights.[2]

Later Ivan continued to perform in the Russian circuses retiring finally at age of 70.[1] His last farewell performance he did in the Tula city circus in 1941.[2] After the retirement he with his wife settled in Kuban buying a two-storey house with a garden in Yeysk.[1]

In November 1939, he was given the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR, and in 1945 that of Honored Master of Sports.

During the Nazi German occupation, he refused to leave the Soviet Union to train German wrestlers.[8]

Poddubny maintained a lifelong professional rivalry with wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko. He died undefeated on 8 August 1949, in the town of Yeysk, in the Kuban region in Southern Russia from a heart attack.[1] Ivan was buried in Yeysk in a park outside of the city.[2] At his burial site was installed an obelisk that used to say “Here lies the Russian bogatyr”.[2] In 1988 somebody destroyed the obelisk and wrote Khokhol-Petliuravite (see Anti-Ukrainian sentiment#Ethnic slurs).[2]
Personal life

When Ivan Poddubny was issued a passport, it stated that he is Russian with a surname Poddubny.[1] He was forced to make corrections and himself changed his nationality to Ukrainian with a surname Pіddubny.[1]

His first wife Antonina cheated on him and ran away with another stealing his gold medals.[1] After she regretted and tried to return, but Ivan did not forgive her.[1]

Back in 2014, Richard Spencer’s White National journal deleted insufficiently pro-Russian articles

For example, on two occasions in 2014, Richard Spencer’s Radix published articles dealing with Ukraine—one by John Morgan, the other by Matthew Raphael Johnson—that subsequently simply disappeared when higher authorities deemed them insufficiently pro-Russian. To put things in perspective, Radix has never had a problem with people who ignore or whitewash the Jewish problem. They have never had second thoughts about publishing philo-Semites and Jews. But being pro-Russian is a litmus test. This is an embarrassment to all involved. There is a lot of taste and talent at Radix. I hate to see it being misspent, and I hope they will get back on track in 2015.

Mikheil Saakashvili stripped of Ukrainian citizen after complaining anticorruption efforts were obstructed by President

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and Ukrainian governor who was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship on July 26, may be forced to seek asylum in the United States, a Ukrainian legislator said.

Saakashvili said on Facebook that he was visiting the United States when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stripped him of his citizenship, but he did not indicate whether he would seek to stay there.

The Ukrainian legislator from Poroshenko’s faction in parliament, Serhiy Leshchenko, said on Facebook that if Saakashvili seeks to return to Ukraine, he would face extradition to Georgia to face charges for alleged crimes that occurred during his presidency.

Poroshenko had appointed Saakashvili, a reformist who became president of Georgia during the 2003 Rose Revolution but later fell out of favor, to be governor of the Odesa region in 2015. Poroshenko saw him at that time as an ally.

But Saakashvili resigned the post last year, complaining of official obstruction of his anticorruption efforts.

Saakashvili’s supporters on July 26 called Poroshenko’s action to strip Saakashvili of Ukrainian citizenship an “unconstitutional” reprisal for Saakashvili’s criticisms.