Al Jazeera Investigations travels to Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, for an explosive report on former President Viktor Yanukovych and his complex web of financial corruption.
Their intelligence comes from a computer drive filled with hundreds of documents spanning from 2011 to 2015, a period of time in which Yanukovych came into power and exacerbated civil unrest with his decision to parlay the European Union by forming closer ties to Russia. A long and bitter citizen uprising began, and led to the deaths of over 100 Ukranians.
But the Ukranian president seemed apathetic to these concerns. After fleeing his homeland for Russia, it became apparent that he was not all that he proclaimed to be. Hidden from view, he resided in a log cabin palace that stands today as a public monument to his corruption. During his tenure, he used his influence to preside over a vast money laundering scheme that stretched across many regions of the world. It was soon discovered that the Ukranian treasury was essentially robbed of billions to the benefit of Yanukovych and other oligarchs who conspired alongside of him. This dirty money was funneled through a series of shell companies, and failed to raise suspicions.
He attempted to cover his tracks by destroying incriminating documentation, but he failed. The film's investigatory team shuffles through these papers and does an admirable job of deciphering the winding path of corruption they portray. This assembly of oligarchs was savvy in their ability to commit crimes right under the noses of law enforcement, and they have long been successful in their attempts to hide in the shadows. The filmmakers sift through the debris of their misdoings with great care and tenacity. They are determined to unmask each of the faceless players - lawyers, accountants, and world leaders alike.
Noted security and foreign relations experts populate the film, and provide insights into the complexities of this criminal operation. Surveillance footage and attractive graphics make this complicated tale more easily digestible for a general audience.
Featuring stellar production values, painstaking research and a fast-paced narrative, The Oligarchs is a dense and infuriating ride.