The election headquarters of presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy is divided into four groups, each with its own leader and responsibilities in various areas, according to the latest investigation by Nashi Groshi (Our Money) program made by Bihus.info investigative news outlet.
Journalists from the program have established a host of official and unofficial members of Zelenskiy’s team or “ZeKomanda,” as it’s known in Ukrainian. They based the information on the Telegram messenger app correspondence that was leaked to them by a source the journalists refuse to name but hint he or she could be related to the incumbent president Petro Poroshenko's team.
In his correspondence with Serhiy Trofimov (an executive producer for Zelenskiy’s company, Studio Kvartal-95), Aleksandr Kornienko loosely describes the groups at Zelenskiy’s headquarters as “Kvartal,” “Uncle,” “Nizhnie” and “Regions.”
“Uncle” is led by Andriy Bohdan, lawyer to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, as well as Zelenskiy. In a conversation with journalists from Bihus.Info, Kolomoisky practically confirmed Bohdan’s role as his intermediary with Zelenskiy’s team.
That being said, journalists also noticed that correspondence from Zelenskiy’s team make it clear that Bohdan’s role at Zelenskiy’s headquarters go beyond legal matters.
In correspondence among themselves, members of the team recall that Bohdan has a separate “media office,” with its own budget, management and authority.
What’s more, Kyrylo Tymoshenko – the founder of “Good Media” – is mentioned as a member of “Uncle” who deals with broadcasting, filming and political advertising.
The name of the group “Nizhnie” probably refers to the name of its leader, lawyer Serhiy Nizhniy, who worked with Zelenskiy's Kvartal 95 studio and advised it as a tax consultant.
“I coordinate the work of lawyers, as a partner in a company that is involved in the process as an external consultant,” Nizhniy said to journalists about his role on the team. In correspondence, his influence also seems wider than that of a legal consultant.
The “Regions” group is led by Ilya Pavlyuk, who’s referred to in correspondence using his first name and patronymic, “Ilya Nikolaevich.” Under former President Viktor Yanukovych, Pavlyuk was an aide to deputy Ihor Kaletnik. His main area of work on the team is coordinating and financing regional representatives of Zelenskiy’s team. In particular, this means finding individual entrepreneurs with stable income and no debtors to supplement them through electoral funds or control on the ground. Pavlyuk’s name is not mentioned on Zelenskiy’s team website, likely on purpose.
The leaders of the fourth group, “Kvartal,” are Zelenskiy’s business partners in the film industry – brothers Serhiy and Boris Shefiry. Journalists suggest that Serhiy Shefir resolves financial issues.
None of the members of Zelenskiy’s team have appeared on TV channel 1+1, where he presented public representatives.