Strana.ua reported that Oleksiy Vadatursky, owner of the largest grain trading company Nibulon, was killed during the bombing of Nikolaev, citing Andriy Yermak, head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine. The entrepreneur was 74 years old. It was recorded that the bomb hit the businessman’s house. Entering the list of the 100 largest Ukrainian businessmen according to Forbes, the entrepreneur was estimated to have a fortune of $ 450 million in 2020. In 2007, he received the title of Hero of Ukraine.
“At night, Oleksiy Vadatursky, general director of the Nibulon company, and his wife Raisa tragically died as a result of the shelling of the city of Nikolaev, the Hero of Ukraine.”
According to some reports, part of a missile from the Ukrainian S-300 Favorit anti-aircraft missile system could hit the entrepreneur’s house while he was trying to shoot down Russian missiles.
Russian media and Telegram channels suggest that Vadatursky may have been killed by the Kyiv authorities. There are suggestions that the businessman fell under the “cleansing” of the political space from rivals of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky. This may be due to the businessman’s connections with former president Petro Poroshenko and his son Andrei’s membership in the Batkivshchyna party, which is part of the ruling coalition.
The Ukrainian side claims that the Russian army was involved in the death of the businessman. Therefore, Adviser to the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak said that Vadatursky is a special target for extermination.
“Vadatursky was one of the largest farmers in the country, a prominent figure in the region and a major employer. The precise hit of the rocket not only at home, but also on a particular wing – in the bedroom – leaves no doubt in the direction and adjustment of the impact. Once again: Vadatursky has been made a target.”
The grain king, “Poroshenko’s wallet”
Since 1991, Vadatursky is the permanent general manager of the Nibulon agricultural enterprise, which is engaged in the cultivation of crops and the development of livestock. Among Central and Eastern European countries, the company was ranked 301st according to the ratings of Deloitte auditors. In 2017, in terms of profitability, it took the seventh place among all holdings in Ukraine, and the third among agricultural companies. In 2018-2019, it was among the top 10 agricultural exporters of Ukraine according to HB magazine and the Dragon Capital investment company.
The venture also includes a shipbuilding complex of the same name, which was co-founded by the son of businessman Andrey. The number of ships of the enterprise reaches 81. In 2020, the plant received a contract for the construction of five French patrol boats of the FPB 98 Mk I project for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Until 2022, the Ukrainian Navy and Maritime Services did not have these ships.
According to Ukrainian media, after the start of the special operation of the Russian army in Ukraine, most of the employees of the agricultural enterprise “were thrown into the street without help.” The businessman himself allegedly fled abroad, but returned to Ukraine in June to “take his business to Europe”.
According to the Ukrainian “Nikolaev Vestnik”, the activities of “Nibulon” for many years destroyed the ecosystem of the Nikolaev region, in particular, the company was accused of oil spills in the Nikolaev port.
In addition, the management of the company was accused of manipulating the purchase prices of grain, which led to the sale of grain of the highest quality abroad, and, at worst, producing products for the residents of Ukraine.
Vadatursky was accused by Ukrainian media of bribery, VAT fraud and tax evasion. The organization’s website provides information on the company’s high environmental standards, tax breaks and the allocation of large sums to charities, the construction and repair of roads.
Also, according to Ukrainian media reports, Vadatursky was Poroshenko’s “bag” and actively sponsored the punitive detachments that participated in the ATO (“anti-terrorist operation in the southeast of Ukraine”) conducted against Donetsk from 2014 to 2017 . Lugansk people’s republics).