On Tuesday (May 16, 2023), a billionaire couple from Ukraine, who held influential positions during Viktor Yanukovych's regime, achieved a remarkable feat by reaching the summit of Mount Everest- the world's highest peak.
Igor Kushnir, aged 51, and his wife, Oksana Kushnir, aged 46, were part of an expedition organized by Seven Summit Treks. According to officials at the base camp, they successfully reached the peak of Mt. Everest between 11:15 and 11:30 am.
Igor, born on June 14, 1971, served as Ukraine's deputy minister of defense from 2010 to 2012. His wife, Oksana, is a Ukrainian-born Cypriot national and the sole ultimate beneficiary of Baltijos Gildija, one of the largest real estate companies.
The couple, accompanied by Ukrainian mountain guide Oleg Ivanchenko, embarked on the challenging journey to scale the world's highest peak.
Confirming the news, Bigyan Koirala, an official from the Department of Tourism, stated that three Ukrainians, including the billionaire couple from Ukraine- Igor and Oksana- had obtained climbing permits for Mt. Everest.
The Ukrainian climber Mykyta Balabanov led the expedition, with renowned Spanish ultra mountain runner Kilian Jornet also being part of the team.
Sources at Tribhuvan International Airport revealed that Igor used his Ukrainian passport to enter Nepal, while Oksana presented her Cypriot passport.
According to Ukrainian government records, Igor became the deputy defence minister in 2010. He later became the president of Kievgorstroy, a prominent publicly-owned construction holding company that controls a significant portion of profitable real estate in Kyiv. Since 2016, Oksana has owned several Ukrainian investment and energy companies through her Cypriot company, Koksi Holding.
Igor and Oksana have faced criticism in Ukraine for their alleged association with pro-Russia politicians while overseeing numerous Lithuanian companies. Local media reports indicate that during his tenure, Igor amassed enormous wealth as one of Ukraine's wealthiest real estate developers, with assets worth billions of euros. Additionally, it was reported that Oksana owns an aircraft allegedly used by Viktor Medvedchuk, a former member of parliament and an ally of Vladimir Putin, for a trip to Moscow.
However, Oksana publicly refuted these claims, stating, "My family and I have never had any personal or business relationship with Viktor Medvedchuk."
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