Ukrayinska Pravda grills the transportation habits of Yosyp Vinsky, a former member of the Socialist Party and current Minister of Transport.
As shown in the picture, Mr. Vinsky was recently sighted exiting a Mercedes S500L 4Matic. Further investigation revealed that the car belongs to SMAP, a state-owned company controlled by the Ministry of Transport (MoT), and carries a price tag of 1,167,000 hryvnias ($231,090).
That’s a tad too bourgeois, considering the manifesto with which the Tymoshenko Cabinet graced the airwaves a month and a half ago:
As long as there are poor people in Ukraine, Cabinet members will not be buying such expensive cars. If you look at the French government, they don’t ride in S-Class there. Even in America you won’t see such things. And here it’s as if we’re the richest country.
The promise boiled down to a price cap of $100,000 on cars purchased for Cabinet members. Technically, the car was not procured for the MoT. Still, it does give the impression that some Cabinet folks are too cool to observe the $100,000 rule.
When questioned about the story, Vinsky casually replied: “I don’t know what car I ride in. I just use what they gave me.”
That’s no accident. In Ukraine, $ocialists and civil $erpents spend tons of money without noticing it.
Take Vinsky’s former colleague and MoT predecessor Mykola Rudkovsky, whose embezzlement case is pending investigation. And don’t forget former Naftogaz chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko, another S500 Mercedes lover bankrolled by taxpayers’ money, whose love of luxury sparked a scandal that cost him his job.
It remains to be seen whether the stink will sink the king this time.