Article from Kyiv
16 January 2016
Insider's guide to who owns Ukrainian
Editor’s Note: The following is a
list of who owns the largest TV channels, radio
stations, newspapers, magazines and online news
websites compiled by Insider. The original story is
. The Kyiv Post has translated the information and
added its own for context and background. The
material is reprinted with Insider’s permission.
Their sources include The National Council on
Television and Radio, the Register of Legal Entities
and Individual Entrepreneurs and other open sources.
In some cases, the real owners of publishing houses,
TV channels and radio stations differ from the
Kyiv Post staff writer Yuliana
Romanyshyn can be reached at
In sheer quantity, Ukrainian news
consumers have lots of choices.
However, the majority of Ukrainian
media outlets are unprofitable and sponsored by
financial, industrial or political groups, with only
a small segment of the industry trying to survive or
become self-sustaining through advertising and
subscription revenues alone.
Consequently, the lack of resources
leaves many outlets at the mercy of their owners,
who often dictate coverage in their outlets and
disregard the principle of editorial independence.
The lack of money, in other cases, prompts
journalists to adopt unethical practices, such as
finding patrons to pay for tailor-made stories or
disguising advertising as news.
The public, therefore, has a strong
interest in knowing who owns media in Ukraine and
what policies they pursue on the news pages.
Serhiy Kurchenko, Ukraine Media
The owner is Serhiy Kurchenko,
the fugitive former alleged front man for
ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. Despite being in
exile on charges of embezzlement, Kurchenko’s
media empire goes on.
Ukraine Media Holding remains one
of the largest holdings, owning and operating
online editions, radio, newspapers and
magazines. UMH includes such sites and magazines
as Forbes, Korrespondent, Bigmir.net, I.ua,
Tochka.net, and Football.ua. The holding company
publishes the newspapers: Komsomolskaya Pravda v
Ukraini, Arguments and Facts, Telenedelia and
the Football magazine.
UMH operates five radio stations:
Autoradio, Nashe Radio, Europa Plus, Retro FM,
and Friday Radio. It also manages three local
radio stations: Lounge FM, Holos Stolytsi (Voice
of the Capital) and Jam FM.
Kurchenko became the owner of UMH
Group in 2013, acquiring it from Boris Lozhkin,
who currently is the chief of staff for
President Petro Poroshenko’s administration.
Lozhkin and Poroshenko were also partners at the
The acquisition agreement of UMH
was financed by bank lenders, which, among
others, was state-owned Ukreximbank. As it
became known in 2015, this state-run bank issued
a loan of $160 million for buying the media
In 2015, American publishing
house Forbes prohibited UMH to use the brand.
After that, the magazine’s website was
transferred to a new domain Forbes.net.ua. The
magazine continues to be published.
Ownership of a second
international brand – Vogue – passed from UMH to
Media Group Ukraine owned by billionaire Rinat
Rinat Akhmetov, Media Group Ukraine
The holding company Media Group
Ukraine is owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov,
Ukraine’s richest person, and unites TV
channels, websites and print media. They feature
regional media and broadcasting in industrial
cities where Akhmetov’s System Capital
Management plants are located.
In particular, the Media Group
Ukraine consists of national TV channel Ukraine,
cable channels NLO TV and Indigo, and Football 1
and Football 2 sports channels. Besides them,
regional Channel 34 (in Dnipropetrovsk), Donbas
(Donetsk) and Sigma (Mariupol) are also a part
of this group.
Akhmetov’s print media group is
called Segodnya Multimedia. The main publication
is daily newspaper and website Segodnya. Other
media in this group are the magazine and website
Vogue, TV guide RIO, social and political weekly
edition Donetsk News, political newspaper
Pryazovskiy Rabochiy, and Dom Sovetov.
Among online media, Akhmetov
owns: Segodnya (Segodnya.ua), Vecherniy Donetsk
(Vecherka.donetsk.ua), Gorod (Gorod.dp.ua),
Priazovskiy Rabochiy (Pr.ua) and Donetsk News (Dnews.donetsk.ua).
Akhmetov’s holding company also
includes online service Oll.tv, the subscription
website with movies, TV shows, and TV series.
Dmytro Firtash/Sergiy Lyovochkin
Inter Media Group
The main asset of the Dmytro
Firtash and Sergiy Lyovochkin holding is the
national Ukrainian TV channel Inter. In
addition, the group includes a number of niche
channels such as NTN, Mega, K1, K2, Enter Film,
and children’s channel Piksel.
Lyovochkin, the former chief of
staff to ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, is a
lawmaker from the Opposition Bloc. Firtash is in
Vienna, where he was arrested in 2014 on a U.S.
warrant charging him with bribery – charges he
denies. Subsequently let free, if he returns
from exile, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has said
he will be arrested.
Inter TV Channel owns news agency
Podrobnosti, which prepares news releases for
the channel and develops its own website,
Podrobnosti.ua. Among online media, Firtash and
Lyovochkin are owners of Ukrainian News website
(Un.ua). News website Ukranews.com and photo
Victor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of
ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, owns six
television channels under the StarLightMedia
holding. One feature of Pinchuk’s media empire
is the emphasis on entertainment content. His
holding company includes such TV channels as STB,
ICTV, Novy Kanal, music channel M1 and M2, and
broadcasting cartoons QTV Channel. The holding
owns the production of TV shows for the channels
of the group and an advertising sales house.
Igor Kolomoisky/Gennadiy Bogolyubov
Eight TV channels belong to the
Privat media holding group of oligarchs Igor
Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov. The most
valuable is national channel 1+1. In addition,
the 1+1 Media includes 2+2, TET, PlusPlus, 1+1
International, Bigudi Channel for women, TV
Channel of the news agency UNIAN, and foreign
broadcaster Ukraine Today. Among online media,
Kolomoisky owns the news agency UNIAN, website
Tsn.ua and Glavred.info.
Press and online media
The outlet combines several
different content websites: economy, history,
European integration, life, lifestyle and
tabloid. Olena Prytula is the owner, co-founder
and former chief editor.
“I share their moral values and
am always ready to help them. But not with
money,” Russian oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin
said in an interview to the magazine Novoe
Vremya. The editorial staff of Ukrainska Pravda
rents an office in a building owned by
Group of journalists
The Internet television and news
website was created in 2013 by a group of
journalists on the eve of the EuroMaidan
Revolution that prompted President Viktor
Yanukovych to flee power two years ago. It
survives on grants. The founders of the
non-governmental organization Hromadske
Television are Serhiy Andrushko, Yulia Bankova,
Andrii Bashtovyi, Roman Vintoniv, Dmytro Gnap,
Mustafa Nayyem, Roman Skrypin and Danylo
Yanevsky. The editorial staff rents an office
owned by Russian oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin.
The site had previously worked on
the domain Forbes.ua. However, American Forbes
took away the license of Serhiy Kurchenko, the
fugitive owner of Ukrainian Media Holding.
Yuriy and Rostyslav Brodsky
Obozrevatel website belongs to
the children of businessman Mykhailo Brodsky. He
is the owner of Veneto mattress manufacturing.
Brodsky is an ally of Igor Kolomoisky.
Sergiy, Maryna and Dmytro
LigaBiznesInform is a part of a
group of companies Liga, which provides legal
and information services in the legal and
accounting fields. In particular, the group owns
the Law League system, a database of legislation
Free Europe/ Radio Liberty
RFE/RL Ukraine is a branch of an
international media organization funded by the
U.S. Congress. The Ukrainian online edition
publishes news, reports, analytical stories and
investigations. Radio Liberty produces the
investigation TV show Schemes.
UNIAN is the oldest news agency
in Ukraine. Today, the news agency, press center,
photo service and television of the same name
are based at UNIAN.
Until it was sold to Ukrainian
Media Holding by President Petro Poroshenko’s
chief of staff Boris Lozhkin, Korrespondent
website and magazine were among the most popular
news outlets in Ukraine.
Yulia, Oleksiy and Volodymyr Mostovyi
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror of the Week)
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia is one of the
oldest analytical news organizatins in Ukraine.
The newspaper is a weekly. Its owner and
editor-in-chief is Yulia Mostova, the wife of
politician and ex-Defense Minister Anatoliy
Daily newspaper and website
Segodnya is a member of the Media Group Ukraine,
owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov. Vesti
newspaper, which until recently was distributed
for free near metro stations, is a competitor.
Free Information Agency
Yuriy Butusov, a journalist,
blogger and activist, is the chief editor of the
website. The owner of the edition is Agenstvo
Vilnoi Informatsii, or Free Information Agency,
a non-profit organization. It was founded by
Ilona Yanko and Olena Baida. Yanko is an aide to
a lawmaker from Prime Minister Arseniy
Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front Party, Ruslan
Lukianchuk, while Baida was the authorized
person from the People’s Front at the
parliamentary elections in 2014.
Journalist Sonia Koshkina is the
chief editor of Lb.ua website. In addition to
website management, Gorshenin Institute holds
conferences and roundtables, and provides an
advisory service to politicians. Gorshenin
Institute was founded by Vadym Omelchenko,
Ksenia Vasylenko (real name of Sonya Koshkina),
Oleksiy Leshchenko, and Viktor Sokolov.
The website Theinsider.ua was
launched by journalist Sergiy Shcherbyna in
2013. Limited liability company Ukrainian Media
Group is the owner of the website. Businessman
Oleksiy Tamrazov is an investor of the company.
In 2010-2014 years, he was the first deputy
chairman of the state-owned public joint stock
company UkrGasVydobuvannya. Insider announced it
will close on Feb. 1.
Odesa businessman Boris Kaufman
bought the weekly magazine and website Focus
from Boris Lozhkin, President Petro Poroshenko’s
chief of staff, in 2013. Kaufman is a founder of
the investment company Vertex United, which
manages such hotels as Bristol, Londonskaya, and
President Hotel. The magazine and online media
Focus.ua are media assets of the Vertex United
Plenty of voices, but many are not
Comments.ua online media was sold
by businessman Vitaliy Haiduk in 2013, when
Serhiy Kurchenko and other allies of
ex-President Viktor Yanukovych actively absorbed
the media firm. Today, the ultimate owner of the
edition is unknown.
The website Gazeta.ua and the
magazine Kraina (Country) are members of LLC
Publishing Group New Information, which belongs
to Roman Vavrysh, an ally of the politician Ihor
Gazeta.ua website and Kraina
magazine are a part of LLC Publishing Group New
information, which belongs to Roman Vavrysh, an
ally of politician Ihor Vasyunyk.
Novoye Vremya magazine was
created after presidential chief of staff Boris
Lozhkin sold Ukrainian Media Holding, which
included Korrespondent magazine. This magazine
was headed by Vitaly Sych, who quit after the
sale because of restrictions on editorial
independence. He launched Novoye Vremya with a
substantial contingent of journalists from
Korrespondent magazine. The investment company
Dragon Capital, owned by Tomas Fiala, is the
Yuliya Lymar, Viktor Shlinchak
Before founding Glavcom.ua,
Yuliya Lymar and Viktor Shlinchak had worked in
senior positions at Glavred Media Holding,
funded by Igor Kolomoisky. Glavcom’s source of
funding is unknown.
Komsomolskaya Pravda is a part of
Ukrainian Media Holding.
Joint stock company Kartel
Kartel has united Vlast Deneg,
Delovaya Stolitsa, and Depo website. The owners
of Kartel were Vagid Alekperov and Leonid Fedun,
co-owners of Russian Lukoil Oil Company. In
2014, the holding was sold to Vadym Denysenko, a
member of parliament from President Petro
Poroshenko’s Bloc. According to Hubs online
media, the agricultural magnate Oleg Bakhmatyuk
might be an investor of Kartel.
The popular western Ukrainian
outlet belongs to Kateryna Kit-Sadova, wife of
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi. Zahid.net is a part
of Sadovyi media holding – Lux Radio Station. It
also includes 24 TV Channel, Lux FM Radio, Radio
24, Football24.ua website and Lux advertising
Oleksandr Martynenko, Tevana Global
Limited (British Virgin Islands)
Interfax-Ukraine Information Agency
Interfax-Ukraine is one of the
three news agencies in Ukraine, selling their
content to subscribers. Its head and co-owner is
Oleksandr Martynenko, a former press secretary
for ex-President Leonid Kuchma. Another
shareholder is British Virgin Islands offshore
company Tevana Global Limited. The beneficial
owner is unknown.
Ukrainian Ministry of Information
Ukrinform is a state-owned news
agency. A multimedia foreign broadcasting
platform was launched by Ukrinform.
Ukrainian News Agency
Ukrainian News is a member of the
Inter Media Group of Dmytro Firtash and Sergiy
Previously, UNN was linked to
ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s ally Hanna
Herman. Today, it officially belongs to the
editor-in-chief, Uliana Lozan. With Anastasia
Matsalo, they also own LLC Ukrainian Independent
News Information Agency. The source of financing
Alfred Wilhelm Mallmann, Yuri Makarov
The magazine and the website
belong to LLC Ukrainskiy Tizhden. The owners of
the company are journalist Yuri Makarov and
Austrian citizen Alfred Wilhelm Mallmann.
Borys and Mikhailo Komissaruk, Olha
Ukr.net website is the largest
news aggregator in Ukraine. In addition to
advertising, it earns money by selling traffic
to other Ukrainian media. Ukr.net belongs to
Borys and Mikhailo Komissaruk and Olha Hrach.
They also own Familnyi Bank.
Previously, RBC Ukraine worked
through the Russian RBC license. Today, the news
outlet belongs to RBC Media Company. Yosyp
Pintus is general director and owner.
Vesti Holding unites a daily
newspaper, Vesti radio and Reporter magazine,
which stopped issuing print copies in 2015. The
owner of the holding company is Ilya Hayevoi, a
co-founder of the NGO Vidnovlennia Donbasu
(Donbas Restoration). The website of the
Ex-minister of Revenues and Duties Oleksandr
Klymenko says that exactly he is a founder of
NGO Vidnovlennia Donbasu.
Mykola Koman, Ihor Pochynok
Lviv newspaper Expres is one of
the oldest newspapers in Ukraine. It has been
published since 1992. The newspaper is known for
its investigations against the sponsor of
Svoboda political party Ihor Kryvetskiy and his
ties with the criminal world.
Information agency Zik.ua was
founded in 2003. According to Nashi Groshi
investigation website, Zik came under the
control of the president Karpaty football club
Petro Dyminskyi. In addition to Zik.ua website,
the holding has a TV channel.
Yuriy Nikolov, Oleksa and Olga
Nashi Groshi website specializes
in anti-corruption investigations in public
procurement. It is funded by grants from
RIA Novosti Ukraine
The Ukrainian unit is part of
Russian state agency RIA Novosti in Ukraine.
Kyiv Post is the only
English-language newspaper in Ukraine. The owner
is British citizen and Pakistani native Mohammad
Zahoor, the husband of singer-actress Kamaliya.
His ISTIL Group invests in media, real estate,
energy and hotel businesses. The publisher’s
policy is editorial independence of journalists;
the newspaper’s editorials have historically
supported democracy, Western integration and
No dominant or international news
outlets exist in Ukraine
Vitaliy Haiduk is a former
shareholder of Industrial Union of Donbas and an
ally of ex-Prme Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Haiduk financed Comments.ua media, which he sold
British Broadcasting Corporation
BBC Ukraine is a Ukrainian
website of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Deutsche Welle is a German state
radio station and TV channel, which broadcasts
to other countries. It has a Ukrainian version
of the website and the editorial office is in
Bonn, employing Ukrainian journalists.
The 1+1 channel is a flagship
asset of billionaire oligarch Igor Kolomoisky’s
media holding. In addition, 1+1 Media includes
2+2, TET, PlusPlus, 1+1 International, Bigudi
Channel for women, TV Channel of the news agency
UNIAN, and broadcasting abroad Ukraine Today.
President Petro Poroshenko
5 Kanal (Channel 5)
After his inauguration in 2014,
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he
will not sell the station.
Dmytro Firtash and Sergiy Lyovochkin
The TV channel Inter is a part of
the Dmytro Firtash-Serhiy Lyovochkin holding and
its main asset. It includes a number of other
channels: NTN, Mega, K1, K2, Enter Film, and
The TV channel Ukraina belongs to
billionaire Rinat Akhmetov’s holding. It
includes NLO TV, Indigo, Eskulap TV, Football 1
and Football 2 sports channels.
Novy Kanal is a part of
StarLightMedia holding of Viktor Pinchuk.
Oligarch’s holding also includes such channels
as STB, ICTV, music channel M1 and M2, and QTV.
The public broadcasting station
is based on Pershyi Natsionalnyi TV Channel.
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s family
Channel 24 is part of Lux Radio
Station holding, owned by Kateryna Kit-Sadova,
the wife of Lyiv Mayor Andriy Sadvovyi.
Channel 112 Ukraine was launched
on the eve of the EuroMaidan Revolution, when it
was assumed to be owned by fugitive ex-Interior
Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko under ex-President
Viktor Yanukovych. The official owner of the
channel is Andriy Podshchypkov, an ally of
lawmaker Serhiy Kaplin.
Larysa Knyazhytska, Vadym Denysenko
The channel is controlled by the
lawmakers Vadym Denysenko (President Petro
Poroshenko’s Bloc) and Mykola Knyazhytsky
Peter Zika (Cyprus)
The end beneficiary of the
channel is Petr Zika of the Czech Republic. It
is registered in Cyprus. The source of financing
is unknown. Previously, it was in ownership of
Volodymyr Kosterin. He was dispossessed of the
channel by the Yanukovych family, he told the
Hubs online media in 2014.
Esparon Sandra Jean (Seychelles)
Business Channel belonged to
businessman Ruslan Demchak. In 2013, it became
known that the TV channel and other media assets
were sold to the Yanukovych family.
NewsOne Channel belonged to Vadym
Rabinovich, who is now a member of parliament
from the Opposition Bloc. In 2014, he sold the
channel to another member of his party, Yevhen
Anatoly and Yevgeniy Yevtukhov
Business Radio Group
The Business Radio Group includes
such radio stations as Shanson, DJFM, Lyubimoe
Radio, and Business FM. They estimate their
market share as 15 percent.
Tavr Media Radio Group
Tavr Media Radio Group includes
six major national radio stations: Kiss FM,
Russkoye Radio, Hit FM, Radio Melodia, Radio
Roks, and Radio Relax. Tavr Media occupies
almost 30 percent of the radio market in
Ukraine. Nikolay Bagraev was a lawmaker when
ex-President Viktor Yanukovych was in power. He
is a founder of Tavria Games music festival.
UMH Radio Group
Eight radio stations are included
in the Serhiy Kurchenko’s media holding: Retro
FM, Europa Plus, Nashe radio, Holos Stolytsi
(Voice of the Capital), Jam FM, Lounge FM,
Avtoradio, and Radio Pyatnica. The UMH radio
group market share is around 25 percent.
Yevropeyska Stantsiya (European
Radio Yevropeyska Stantsiya is
the new name of Gala Radio. It changed its name
and owners last year. The new investor is
RadioCorp Holding, a Dutch company which runs
several radio stations and media in Netherlands,
Austria, Bulgaria and other countries. The
previous owner was American businessman Joseph
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s family
Lux FM is included in the Lux
media holding owned by Kateryna Kit-Sadova, the
wife of the Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi.
Perets FM (Pepper FM)
Andriy Karpiy is a former partner
of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi on Lux FM. In 2014,
Karpiy sold four radio stations that broadcast
in 27 cities to Ihor Huzhva, which owned Vesti
Radio at that time.
Vesti Radio is included in the
Olexandr Klymenko’s Vesti media holding. He is
an exiled ex-minister of revenue and duties
under former President Viktor Yanukovych.
The owner of Era Radio, Andriy
Derkach was a lawmaker with the formerruling
Party of Regions under ex-President Viktor
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