Russian Oligarchs

Sergey Vitalievich Kurchenko : Biography Of Elite Russian Oligarch 2024

Sergey Vitalievich Kurchenko AKA Serhiy Kurchenko (Ukrainian: Сергі́й Віта́лійович Ку́рченко ) , a Russian entrepreneur, is the founder and proprietor of “Gas Ukraine 2009,” a conglomerate primarily engaged in the trade of liquefied natural gas. Notably, Kurchenko previously served as the owner and president of FC Metalist Kharkiv and the Ukrainian Media Holding group. Following his departure from Ukraine in February 2014, he relocated to Russia.

Early Life Of Serhiy Kurchenko

Serhiy Kurchenko, born on September 21, 1985, grew up in a modest family in the Saltivka residential neighborhood of Kharkiv. He attended secondary school number 122 from 1992 to 2002. Following his secondary education, Kurchenko enrolled at the National Technical University Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute, where he pursued studies in Economics and Entrepreneurship from 2002 to 2006. He successfully obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Auditing during this period. Subsequently, he pursued further education in “Intellectual Property” from 2006 to 2008, earning a master’s degree.

Continuing his academic journey, Kurchenko attended the National University Yaroslav the Wise Law Academy of Ukraine from 2009 to 2011, where he obtained a law degree. Descriptions from teachers and classmates portrayed him as a reserved and introverted individual. However, colleagues characterized him as approachable, although not particularly outgoing.

Sergey Vitalievich Kurchenko : Business Ventures and Success

According to Serhiy Kurchenko in one of his rare interviews, he stated that he hailed from Kharkiv and began working diligently in a local gas company from the age of 16. He then ventured out on his own entrepreneurial path. Kurchenko attributed his success to his expertise in the field and access to affordable loans.

Kurchenko embarked on his career at the age of 16 as a courier for Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national oil and gas company. According to his official biography, he swiftly rose through the ranks to become the deputy commercial director, where he implemented reorganization strategies for the wholesale distribution of liquefied gas. His initiatives significantly boosted profits for Ekspogaz, the company he worked for at the time. Kurchenko transitioned from Ekspogaz and established his own business at the age of 19 in 2005.

His official biography associated with “Metalist” indicates that his accumulated experience and access to financing enabled him to undertake several successful investment ventures in the primary and land markets of the Kharkiv region. Notably, between 2005 and 2008, prior to the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, real estate prices in Ukraine experienced a remarkable annual increase of over 30%. However, the biography does not provide specific details regarding these projects or the name of his firm.

Notable Achievements and Milestones

In 2009, Kurchenko established a conglomerate known as “Gas Ukraine 2009,” comprising 55 companies engaged in various sectors. All these entities are registered within the Kharkiv region and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The primary focus of the group is on the sale of petroleum products, along with the distribution of liquefied gas, although further clarification on the latter aspect is required. Additionally, Gas Ukraine 2009 is involved in public procurement activities.

According to Yuriy Syrotyuk, a deputy of the Svoboda party, Gas Ukraine 2009 allegedly monopolized the Ukrainian liquefied gas market and engaged in illicit activities such as smuggling gasoline through interrupted transit routes and fraudulent export schemes in 2009.

Owner Of Football Club FC Metalist Kharkiv ?

In December 2012, there were reports that Oleksandr Yaroslavsky sold the football club FC Metalist Kharkiv to Kurchenko. However, these reports lacked citation and the transaction appeared to be rushed, occurring amidst a conflict between the Kharkiv government and the former co-owner of the Metalist stadium.

Sergey Vitalievich Kurchenko : Owner Of Football Club FC Metalist Kharkiv
Sergey Vitalievich Kurchenko : Owner Of Football Club FC Metalist Kharkiv ( Source )

According to the FC Metalist press office, Kurchenko convened a meeting on December 30, 2012, at the offices of Gas Ukraine 2009 in Kyiv, where he met with key figures including head coach Myron Markevich, General Director Sergei Volik, and Sport Director Eugene Krasnikov.

Ivan Savvidis, the controlling shareholder of Greek FC PAOK, cast doubt on Kurchenko’s ownership of FC Metalist. When asked about playing chess with the owner of Metalist, Savvidis cryptically responded that he only plays with the true owners, suggesting uncertainty regarding Kurchenko’s ownership status. He remarked, “Who is the true owner of Metalist? Come on, I know a little more than you think.”

In early October 2017, a Ukrainian court confiscated Metalist Kharkiv from Kurchenko and placed it under state control.

Legal Issues and Controversies

Kurchenko has been dubbed by the media as the “wizard of gaz,” the “gas king of Ukraine,” and the “business sensation of Ukraine 2012.” He maintains a low profile, refraining from interviews, live comments, or appearances at public business forums, instead opting to release prepared press releases.

Investigative journalists have suggested that Kurchenko’s success in the trade of liquefied natural gas, oil products, and items for the oil and gas sector stems from his alleged connections to high-ranking officials in the Ukrainian government. These officials purportedly include Artem Pshonka, the son of former Prosecutor General of Ukraine and Party of Regions MP Viktor Pshonka, and Oleksandr Yanukovych, the eldest son of former president Viktor Yanukovych. Other alleged connections include Serhiy Arbuzov, the first Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Alexander Klimenko, a figure in the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. Kurchenko, however, has denied these alleged ties.

According to reports, Dmitry Firtash’s companies are said to have supplied Kurchenko with inexpensive gas for resale.

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