I lived in a very nice small hotel in downtown for a long time. And in the morning I’d go down for breakfast and sit on the veranda overlooking the street.
One of the frequent characters was a fellow who always seemed to meet foreigners and talk to them about doing business in Ukraine.
Eventually we moved mutual recognition, then to morning smiles, and I finally introduced myself. We spoke briefly. .He gave me his card. He was an “Advisor to the President”. Which seemed strange to me because he looked far more like a carpet salesman than anyone with deep knowledge of any kind of civil affairs.
Over time I gathered enough information by ‘accidental’ listening, to understand that he was a gatekeeper for foreign businesses in Ukraine. If you want to start a business, obtain credit, film a movie, or gain access to television and media, you could pay ‘fees’ for the his ‘service’.
His service involved collecting bribes on behalf of the president in exchange for ‘assistance’ in accomplishing your goals.
I haven’t seen him lately. I don’t remember his name. But I’m pretty sure that the list of ‘advisors’ is a lot longer than the official one.
Today, the parliament dismissed an whole list of ‘advisors’.