Ukrainian Ex-President’s Wife Owns Giant Champagne Factory in Embattled Artemovsk, DPR Chief Reveals

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 / Go to the mediabankPetro Poroshenko and his wife Maryna outside a court, where the former president fought charges of high treason over a scheme involving the supply of coal from the Donbass. January 2022. / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky personally ordered the reinforcement of the Ukrainian-occupied DPR city of Artemovsk (the Ukrainian side calls it Bakhmut) with elite troops and reserve forces last month, with battles for the city turning into a brutal meat grinder. Russian fighters raised a Russian flag over the city’s town hall last week.Maryna Poroshenko, the wife of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, is the main shareholder of a massive sparkling wine factory in Artemovsk, Donetsk People’s Republic head Denis Pushilin has revealed.“Commercial histories of the Ukrainian regime are emerging. For me it was a surprise – our guys found documents, told me [that] the main founder and shareholder of the champagne factory in Artemovsk is Poroshenko’s wife,” Pushilin said in an interview with Russian media.“And this leads me to think, maybe they [Ukrainian forces, ed.] are resisting not because it’s some kind of invincible fortress, but because their assets are there. Such questions arise,” the DPR chief said.Founded in 1950, the Artemovsk Factory of Sparkling Wines (current name “Artwinery”) is one of the largest bottled sparkling wine factories in Eastern Europe, and the only one in the region using the traditional method champenoise for production. The unique enterprise’s entire production cycle is located underground at a depth of over 72 meters in a gypsum mine dating back to the 18th century. The factory has a rich history producing a sparkling wine known as “Sovetskoe Champanskoe” (lit. “Soviet Champaigne”) starting in the 1950s, and switched to in-house brands like “Artyomovskoe” and “Krym” (lit. “Crimea”) after 1991. The enterprise has the capacity to produce up to 25 million bottles of sparkling wine annually.Russian forces released footage from inside the factory late last month.RussiaCool Head & Nerves of Steel: How Donbass Sappers Clear Deadly Mines Laid by Ukraine4 April, 14:06 GMTPetro Poroshenko has consistently made listings of the top 20 richest Ukrainians for decades, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to his fortune during his presidency between 2014 and 2019. In 2020, Forbes rated him the third-richest tycoon in Ukraine, with a capital of over $1.4 billion. This grew to $1.6 billion in 2021, but reportedly dropped to $730 million in 2022. Poroshenko’s empire has traditionally included confectionery factories, automotive plants, a shipyard, defense enterprises, and media assets.Maryna Poroshenko is known in Ukraine for her extravagant, dolce vita lifestyle, but her assets and business activities have been left largely undisclosed, with the former first lady instead touting her “charity” activities.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineRussia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine: How It Is Progressing5 May, 17:45 GMT

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