Revolution Feeds Its Children

KIEV, Ukraine -- Nikolay Katerinchuk, Deputy of State Tax Administration of Ukraine (STA) said that President Viktor Yushenko’s son Andrey owns the rights “for the brands that were used during the “orange revolution”. According to the experts’ estimate, the profits from using “orange” symbols can reach $100 million.

Viktor Yushchenko and Family

On Friday, while talking online to visitors of the Internet site “Correspondent.net,” Katerinchuk answered the questions about the scandal around the president’s son who was accused in the recent week of living beyond his means. “This is an artificially created scandal,” said Katerinchuk. “This is provocation. I know Andrei as a young, but very honest and professional person. I would like to add that Andrei Yushenko holds the rights for all political brands that were used during the Orange Revolution. And that’s for those who are trying to calculate Andrey’s profits.”

Yesterday, the deputy chairman of STA told Kommersant that Yushenko received the rights for symbols of the Orange Revolution. “I personally gave it to him. That was after the victory in the third round. The transfer of the brands was verified by notaries and all these brands currently belong to Andrey Yushenko. These are symbols you all have seen during the election campaign including the slogan Tak! (Yes), the horseshoe and others. During the election campaign, our symbols had to have judicial defense protecting it from use by others. It was necessary to prevent our opponents to make similar products, but with contrary meaning. Why were these symbols registered in my name? The electoral staff made this decision and I was the head of the law department,” Katerinchuk said.

In the meantime, the symbols of the Orange Revolution are still actively being used and products with these symbols are not cheap. For instance, on Independence Square a little flag with the word “Tak” can cost anywhere from 5 to 20 grivnas. Company Ukrainian Souvenir besides other symbols of the Orange Revolution, also sells photo albums Tak Ukraine that go for 288 grivnas and watches with Tak on the face sells for 192 grivnas. During the Orange Revolution even vodka Tak made by company Artemida appeared in stores. However, vodka disappeared quite fast. And former general director of Artemida, Anna Anton’eva could not clearly explain to journalists why. According to Katerinchuk the production of vodka was stopped for the reason of author rights – Artemida did not have permission to use the Tak slogan. “Even in that time some people were looking at me suspiciously,” remembers Katerinchuk. “Everybody was saying, ‘Look, he’s already a rich man.’”

Experts cannot say exactly what profits Andrey Yushenko reaps from owning the author rights for revolutionary symbols. However, they all think that this profit is quite significant. Yuri Kogutayka, co-founder of advertising holding company Euro RSCG & Partners says that “the brands of the latest electoral campaign of Viktor Yushenko have a worth of about $100 million. The estimates are based on investments that were made for the brand recognition. And from the other side, this is highly expected return investments that provide powers with access to economical resources.” It is known that the author of the symbols for the last electoral campaign of Viktor Yushenko, including the horseshoe, slogan Tak and also the idea to use the orange color is Yaroslav Lesyuk. However, he refused to talk to Kommersant because of “ethics concerns.”

Katerinchuk himself does not know either how much are the brands that belong to Andrey Yushenko. “It depends on what type of license agreements are made for use of these brands.” According to him, there was interest for these symbols in Western Europe, Canada and the United States. “A lot of designers on the European level showed interest in the symbols those not even mentioning different producers of all kinds of goods in Ukraine. I do not manage the Yushenko family’s finances anymore. I did it before and during the election campaign. For that matter, it’s hard for me to say exactly how much the profits are, but I think these sums are not small,” concluded the deputy of STA. According to his words, the net worth of the president’s son would be easier to define closer to April 1 – the time for tax declarations.

Source: Kommersant

Comments