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Ten sins of Ukrainian oligarch, the problems are too many

16. 12. 2017,
Ten sins of Ukrainian oligarch, the problems are too many
In September, people in Kiev protested against the practice of the MHP. A part of the demonstration was an exhibition describing the major issues in the company's behavior.

Yuriy Kosiuk is a businessman, billionaire, oligarch, owner of the agricultural company MHP and one of the richest men in Ukraine. Due to his business capabilities, the Ukrainian president Poroshenko chose him for his adviser. However, Kosiuk’s business has its darker side. People rise up in the country and demonstrate in the capital. According to them, MHP devastates Ukrainian nature and destroys lives of people living in the vicinity of the MHP’s factories. This largest poultry factory on the continent exports to the European Union on a large scale, and would like to take control over the EU’s poultry market in the near future. 

“Our public doesn’t know much about the running of the Mr. Kosiuk’s empire. Nevertheless, its practices are completely inconsistent with the western standards and almost unimaginable for an ordinary European,” says Václav Orcígr from Arnika, who has been watching the company for a long time.



  1. Contamination of the environment
    MHP’s plants produce a huge amount of bio-waste. Nitrates from feces, chemicals, antibiotics and other substances contained in the bio-waste are released into the soil and water directly or due to insufficient security.
  2. Disappearing drinking water
    Residents of the villages neighbouring the new MHP’s plants claim that they have lost the clear groundwater after the agricultural company came, and support their claims with the demonstration of low water level in their wells. Taking water directly from the richly supplied Dnieper river does not seem to worth for the company because of the required and expensive filtration.
  3. Devastation of fertile soil
    The world’s most fertile chernozem soil in the whole of Europe, which can be found in this region, could be used to grow crops instead of building giant poultry factories on it. “The best soil is cast in concrete,” summarizes Vladlena Marcinkevich in the Czech Television reportage.
  4. Tumbledown houses
    The operation of giant poultry factories overloads the roads in the neighborhood. Strong shocks caused by dense truck traffic disrupt statics of the houses in the villages. There are cracks in the masonry and there is a serious threat that the houses will fall down.
  5. Bad odour beyond the horizon
    There is the unbearable odour emanating from the super-poultry factories (there are about one and a half million chickens living in each of them), and appearing in the surrounding villages. The situation is even worse in the case of manure dumps. People are also suffering from the stinking streams full of wastewater from the poultry factories.
  6. Dominant position on the market
    Due to the branched structure and the acquisition of a number of agricultural companies, MHP holds an estimated 60 percent in the Ukrainian meat market. Only the Nasha Ryaba chicken farm controls a half of the poultry market, accordin to the agricultural company itself. The company can effectively use this fact when dealing with partners, competitors and critics.
  7. Ignoring the public
    When permitting MHP operations, the procedures of the authorities are often opposed to the principles of the international Aarhus Convention, which Ukraine joined nearly twenty years ago. The authorities do not take into account the public opinion and in some cases, they even decide against the public interest.
  8. “European paradox”
    MHP uses finance of the international financial institutions and European banks without respecting the western standards of the environmental and human health protection as well as the democratic decision-making.
  9. Cypriot offshore
    MHP is officially based in Cyprus, where it also pays taxes. This significantly reduces the benefits and meaning of the investment of international financial institutions that should help to stabilize the Ukrainian economy. There are a number of smaller projects unsuccessfully applying for funding from the western banks that would help people more efficiently, such as the planned agricultural cooperative of the Chetvertynivka municipality.
  10. Pressure and physical violence
    It is obvious that MHP has many opponents. According to hitherto unverified claims, the company tries to violently silence the most vociferous critics. For example, the local people believe that the company has attacked the civilian activist and mayor of Yasnozirya, Vasyl Tkachenko, and others.

For more information contact Translation: Markéta Fišerová

Clean Air for Ukraine

This project is led by a non-governmental organization Arnika (Czech Republic) in cooperation with local civic initiatives in industrial towns of Ukraine with financial support from the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA).

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