I was born on November 25, 1951, in Kharkiv. My father was a war veteran and mother—a lawyer. Soon after I was born, my father and mother divorced, so I was brought up in the street where I was growing up... this environment formed my character and life credo: always stay ahead and rely only on yourself! On my way, I met a lot of extremely kind and wise people, thanks to whom I received an excellent education and made a brilliant career in the Soviet times. Right after the Perestroika, I managed to build one of the largest businesses in Ukraine and become a famous politician! Now I’m focused on charity! I’m just obsessed with this theme, painful in our times as it is. I want to pay back at least a part of my debt to ordinary people, most of whom live very poorly. Thanks to them, I became the person I am today...
The school period was a very difficult experience for me. I hated the Soviet school system of education with all the fibers of my soul, it was based on the oppression of individuality and encouraged students to inform and adulate! I actively protested and for that, I was expelled from school in the eighth grade—at the age of 14 I left school and started working as a fitter at Kharkiv Aviation Plant. I worked there for almost a year and then had to return to school again because the Soviet government demanded at that time that everyone should finish secondary school.
I found wings at the University
After school, I was taken to the army, to the “police forces” in Dnipropetrovsk. These were by far the worst years of my life ... The years of physical and moral humiliation... But still I managed to become a high achiever in the military service and I was the only person in the history of my military unit to be allowed to apply to Kharkiv Law Institute as a high achiever in the military and police service.
I was a high-achiever student of Kharkiv Law Institute named after Felix Dzerzhinsky.
During the five years of my study, I practically devoured all the lectures in law and became the best graduate, getting a diploma with honors!
Оperational activities
For my excellent studies and military service, I was appointed to the responsible post of senior investigator in Kyiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office. In fact, I received the post which only a very reliable and talented person could expect to get because the law of that time said that the post of the senior investigator could only be obtained by “an experienced worker of the prosecutor’s office, who served in the organs over three years”! For my appointment, even a special order of the Prosecutor General of the USSR was required! In 1977, I married a student of the same year—Alina Aivazova, who I was married to for over 30 years and who I have two children and eight grandchildren with... My job in the Prosecutor’s Office gave me a lot of experience in investigative actions and in 2002, by the order of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, I was awarded the honorary title of the Honored Worker of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine!
Christina and Stepan
My children Khristina and Stepan were born only a year apart. My daughter Christina has given me four grandchildren (Leonid, Ivan, Alina, and Serhii), and my son Stepan—another four (Leonid, Mykhail, Stepan, and Alisa).
On my own initiative, which was unthinkable at that time and could hardly happen in the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, for the first time in the history of the Soviet Prosecutor’s Office, I resigned from my post to enter the postgraduate school of the Kharkiv Law Institute. It was no easy matter, of course—I already had two small children. But good people always surrounded me, and they helped my family to survive financially at that difficult time. Although I was an excellent student at the institute, the dissertation didn’t come easily to me. Luckily, I had a very “strong” scientific advisor—criminalist Prof. Hryhorii Abramovych Matusovskyi. It is thanks to him I managed to defend in time the Candidate’s dissertation on the Methods of Investigating Grand Larceny Committed by Officials”.
Deputy pro-rector of taras shevchenko state university of kyiv
In 1984, I went in for scientific work and became a deputy pro-rector of Taras Shevchenko State University of Kyiv. 18,000 scientific workers, including 16 academicians and corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences were subordinate to me! I became the youngest academic deputy pro-rector in the history of the Taras Shevchenko State University of Kyiv—the third most important higher educational institution of the USSR!
Justice, responsibility, career growth
I was almost forty when I organized and headed the legal consulting center Pravex, the name of which stands for: law, economics, and sociology—which gradually developed into the concern Pravex Group, from which Pravex-BANK later emerged. I did not have any financial support or start-up capital, but I decided to create my own company anyway. And I succeeded!
I was one of the first people in Ukraine who declared high legally earned profits and used it to create Pravex-BANK, which is well-known to all the country. In the period from 1992 to 1996, I was the president of the Pravex Concern, after that, being the only founder, I moved into the honorary post of chairman of the bank’s council and plunged into politics!
I am a people’s deputy
I have become a people’s deputy three times in the same constituency 212 in Kyiv! I have always believed that it is necessary to create fair and decent authorities which would help people. I initiated many laws. Specifically, those were the laws on the protection of public morality and on the repayment of USSR Sberbank’s deposits to people, I was also the author of many other laws which were not adopted immediately, but eventually, they formed the base of Ukraine’s economic strategy.
The honored lawyer of ukraine
On October 4, 1997, I was awarded the title of Honored Lawyer of Ukraine “for significant services in strengthening the rule of law and order, high professionalism”.
Charitable fund “social partnership”
In 1998, the charitable fund Social Partnership was established, it later became one of the most authoritative charitable organizations in Ukraine. 2,000 free meals a day and medical treatment for destitute Kyivans, the replacement of their lost documents and the protection of their interests in courts and government bodies—became the main part of my charitable work.
The mayor of the capital of ukraine
My work and charity, which I had been doing for many years, made me very popular with Kyivans. I realized that many of them trusted me, and put forward my candidacy for the post of mayor of the capital of Ukraine. And Kyivans supported me. I genuinely wanted to make life in Kyiv a better place and, in my opinion, I have managed to do a lot!
The mayor of Kyiv again
I sold the bank to the second largest Italian financial group Intesa Sanpaolo for 750,000,000 US dollars. This transaction was acknowledged by the most authoritative international business publication “Forbes” as the most successful financial transaction in Ukraine in 2008. The same year, I was elected the mayor of Kyiv again. On May 25, 2008, I was officially recognized the winner in the special elections of the mayor of Ukraine’s capital with 431,561 votes.
Maintenance with the mayor's position
Because of political persecution and as a sign of protest against Yanukovych and his gang’s regime, I resigned the post of the mayor of Kyiv on my own initiative!
The investment potential
My son Stepan and I created investment company Chernovetskyi Investment Group. Its core assets make 750 million $ - the amount received from the sale of Praveks Bank in 2008. The company’s focal points are the internet and IT, high technologies and other promising directions. Stepan has undertaken full management of the company, as well as of other business assets of his and of mу own, whereas I have focused on charity activities in Ukraine and later on in Georgia, where I have opened 3 orphanages and have started to provide for 600 bedridden people, who are ill and abandoned by their children.
Part of the way has already been covered but the greater part is still ahead!
By the age of 66, I completely realized myself—I created one of the largest Ukrainian banks—Pravex, I was elected the people’s deputy of Ukraine three times and twice the mayor of Kyiv! I want to spend the rest of my life in Georgia—the country I love with all my heart and whose people I admire. It is so painful for me to see most of these wonderful people living below the poverty line! I know how to make the life of every Georgian better, happier, more comfortable and secure. So, I decided to create a party For Happy Georgia and run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. I live in the present and I can see myself in the future only working for the good of Georgia and for the people of Georgia! I totally dedicate myself to charity and politics!