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Pavel Fuks, Ukrainian Businessman, Resurfaces in Dubai

Pavel Fuks, the notorious Ukrainian-Russian oligarch, is back in the spotlight. Recently, Fuks has been accused in the press of paying for swastika graffiti to be painted on the walls of Ukrainian synagogues. According to media reports, Fuks admitted that he had no choice because he was ordered to launch false flag operations prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now it appears that Pavel Fuks and his entourage have resettled in the UAE for the time being, attempting to maintain a lower profile to put off journalists, creditors, and the law enforcement community.

It is not the first time that Fuks has attempted to serve Vladimir Putin’s agenda in Ukraine. Fuks worked tirelessly to hijack a Holocaust memorial, Babyn Yar, in Kyiv, writes Euromaidan News. Previously, Pavel Fuks participated in another Russian initiative, a scheme to launder hundreds of millions of dollars embezzled from Ukraine’s national budget. The funds were frozen due to their toxic origin – Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Russian president who fled Ukraine. As reported by the Daily Beast, according to multiple Russian experts, such as Olga Lautman, a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, and Anders Åslund, an economist and Russia expert, Fuks is a gangster that often serves the interests of Russia’s intelligence services, which is not an uncommon arrangement for the Russian underworld.

Prior to Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, Pavel Fuks established himself as a controversial deal maker. Known to publicly threaten his adversaries with physical retribution, the Ukrainian businessman was sanctioned by the Ukrainian government and – at one point – arrested in absentia by a Moscow court for fraud. Fuks has claimed that the documented allegations of leading false flag operations on behalf of Russia were nonsense. He has also dismissed various charges of fraud and other criminal activities, attributing negative press and criminal investigations to his enemies’ efforts to joust with him in Russia’s rough business environment. He has similarly claimed that Ukraine’s sanctions against him are nothing more than revenge orchestrated by Ukrainian former politician and media mogul, Mikhail Brodsky.

Fuks is known to associate with the U.S. sanctioned Ukrainian oligarch, Igor Kolomyski, sanctioned U.S. elections meddler, Andriy Telezhenko, U.S. and Ukraine sanctioned pro-Russian mogul, Viktor Medvychuk (often referred to in Ukraine as “Putin’s Emissary”), fugitive Sergey Kurchenko, controversial restaurateur and proprietor of Ukraine’s Buddha Bar, Gennady Medvedev, and secretive billionaire and Yanukovych ally, Vitaliy Khomutynnik. While Ukraine remained under strict pandemic quarantine and Fuks claimed poverty because his assets were frozen due to sanctions, Russian entertainers flocked to his ostentatious 50th birthday party held at a Kyiv golf club, partly owned by one of the attendees, Vitaliy Khomutynnik, now an estranged friend.

With the advent of the devastating war in Europe, one thing is clear: the controversy surrounding Fuks continues to grow. A product of Russia’s street hooligan culture, Fuks is described by former associates as a parochial street thug who would do anything for money. He is alleged to have ordered paid assassination “hits,” sold gray market COVID vaccines to wealthy Ukrainian friends for $12,000 per injection when Pfizer and Moderna were not available in Ukraine; he purportedly provided logistics infrastructure for the distribution of heroin; according to various reporting, he made numerous attempts to seize control over the city of Kharkiv on behalf of his Kremlin handlers. Kharkiv, which borders Russia, has now been virtually obliterated by Russian rockets.

Pavel Fuks is a symptom of post-Soviet Russian business culture where violence and corruption reign. It’s no wonder then given the scrutiny that Fuks is under, that he absconded to Dubai until things blow over.