More than 25% of the citizens of Ukraine live well below the poverty line. The average annual income in Ukraine is a meager $4800. To make matters worse, over the last four years Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has used his time in office to loot the country's precious resources and in the process has enriched both himself and his family. One of the most egregious examples of his wholesale corruption involves a 350 acre lakefront property called Mezhyhirya. Prior to his election, Mezhyhirya was a public park enjoyed for centuries by all Ukrainian citizens. One of his first acts as President was to swoop in and steal the property. Through some murky back-channel transactions, Viktor traded two dilapidated apartment buildings on the outskirts of Kiev for the lush lakefront estate that is easily worth more than $100 million.
To give you some perspective, the park is just slightly smaller than the country of Monaco. The problem is, where Monaco is home to 30,000 people, since January 2010 Mezhyhirya has been the private residence of Viktor Yanukovych and his family. As if that wasn't bad enough, Yanukovych then poured tens of millions of dollars worth of government money into upgrading Mezhyhirya into a modern luxurious playground complete with an 18-hole golf course, private zoo, 70 car garage, underground shooting range, helicopter pad, airplane hanger, nightclub and much more.
On February 22nd, 2014, Ukraine's Parliament unanimously voted to remove President Yanukovych from office, effective immediately. As of 3pm PST, Viktor is on the run and attempting to flee to Russia. When word got out that Yanukovych had fled, hundreds of Ukrainian protesters swarmed the gates of Mezhyhirya. After discovering that all the Presidential guards were nowhere to be found, the protesters quickly seized the entire property and began opening the heavily-fortified, barbed wire-enforced gates. Ordinary citizens, protesters and journalists soon began releasing the first images anyone has seen of the lavish Presidential compound in more than four years.
Ukrainian Presidential Palace Revealed!
Protesters found this gold coin featuring the President's face inscribed with with the words "It's Good to be King". Whoever ends up with this coin might consider adding these words to the coin's inscription: "…but just for a while."