Lawyer Andriy Bohdan became head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on May 21. He is mostly known as oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky’s personal attorney, and more recently as the informal superintendent of Zelenskyy’s election campaign HQ.
We gathered some facts about the newly appointed head of the presidential administration.
Then presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyy shakes hands with lawyer Andriy Bohdan at Zelenskyy's HQ in Kyiv after the announcement of the first official exit polls on April 21, 2019. Photo credit: Stepan Franko / EPA-EFE
Andriy Bohdan is 42. He grew up and studied in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv where he received a law degree and a lawyer's certificate. After moving to Kyiv, he became a managing partner at a law firm.
In 2007, he ran for Ukrainian Parliament on the list of the Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense bloc, but since he was only 93rd in the list, he did not make it through.
In 2008, he became Deputy Minister for Anti-Corruption of the then-Justice Minister Mykola Onyshchuk.
In March 2010, after Viktor Yanukovych won the presidential election, Bohdan became Deputy Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and government commissioner on anti-corruption policy in the government of Mykola Azarov.
In 2013, Prime Minister Azarov reappointed Bohdan as the Cabinet’s commissioner on anti-corruption policy.
After the events of the Revolution of Dignity in March 2014, Bohdan was fired. Later he became an adviser to the newly appointed governor of Dnipropetrovsk region oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.
In the same year, he ran for parliament for the second time as number 74 on the list of Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc. However, the party eventually canceled his registration as a candidate. In 2018, Bohdan appealed the decision in court, but to no avail.
Bohdan also defended the interests of Kolomoisky’s associate Hennadiy Korban, who was charged with creating an organized crime group, and embezzlement in 2015.
Newly appointed Head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Bohdan outside the presidential administration building in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 21, 2019. Photo credit: Volodymyr Gontar / UNIAN
From the beginning of Zelenskyy’s presidential campaign, Bohdan worked in the team of the newly inaugurated head of state. He was considered "representative of the interests of Kolomoisky," however, the HQ consistently denied and stressed that Bohdan cooperates with Zelenskyy’s team exclusively in the legal plane.
The journalists of Our Money program found out that on April 3 Bohdan had a meeting with National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) director Artem Sytnyk, which was not announced by any of the parties.
In addition, Kolomoisky later confirmed that the lawyer Bohdan, who provides legal support to the campaign of showman Zelenskyy, works as his personal attorney.
The journalists of the Schemes program found out that on March 13, Bohdan met with the former head of the Constitutional Court Stanislav Shevchuk.
On April 18, the court deferred consideration of the submission on the compliance of the law "On Cleansing of Power" with the Constitution. Bohdan himself is subject to the lustration law: he cannot work in state service for 10 years after the law came into force i.e. until October 2024.
Shevchuk assured that his meeting with a lawyer was not held in secret, and they did not discuss the lustration law.
At the same time, according to the Bihus.Info investigation, the Presidential Administration is not legally registered and is not an authority but only an advisory body, and its employees are not government officials.
The list of positions that cannot be occupied by a person subject to lustration is laid out in Article 2 of the Law "On Cleansing of Power". The position of the head of the Presidential Administration is clearly indicated there.