Rudy Giuliani was flying to Kiev with a low cost airline when he was traveling to Kiev earlier this month.
It was the afternoon of December 4 when Giuliani flew from Hungary to the Ukrainian capital with the low-cost airline WizzAir. He was there to shoot a three-part video series for the Pro Trump OAN channel, which framed the trip as a mission to "destroy" the impeachment story.
Flying WizzAir, which asks customers to pay for everything à la carte and fight for unallocated places and space on the trash, often feels like a particularly chaotic black Friday in the Best Buy.
After this experience it was no wonder that Giuliani wanted to fly out of Kiev with a private jet.
According to flight data, videos and photos analyzed by BuzzFeed News and confirmed by a Giuliani employee who had joined him, the former mayor of Kiev, New York flew from the night of December 6th Kiev to Vienna on board a light business aircraft Beechcraft Premier 1A with the tail number T7-UTS.
This number connects the jet to ICS Aero, a company. The company is registered in the tiny state of San Marino, which is known for its corrupt business practices but operates from Kiev. Ukrainian media have reported that the owner of the company is the Ukrainian American Alexander Rovt. Another Rovt company logo, IBE Trade Corp., that adorns the tail of the company's jets, is further evidence of Rovt's ownership.
Rovt has previously done business with Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch with links to organized crime, and the Kremlin, who is currently under house arrest in Vienna and is fighting extradition to the United States, where he has been charged with federal bribery , While these allegations have nothing to do with the impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump, Firtash has been at the intersection of Trump and Giuliani's efforts to undermine their enemies.
Prosecutors told the court on Tuesday that a lawyer had paid Firtash $ 1 million for one of Giuliani's campaign cohorts in Ukraine, Lev Parnas, and Parnas & # 39; wife. In an interview with Reuters published on Wednesday, Firtash lawyer Ralph Isenegger said that he lent the Parnases the money to buy a home in Florida.
Parnas and another Giuliani employee, Igor Fruman, were charged with funnels. Illegal contributions to a member of Congress who they sought during their campaign in Ukraine to help the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch to remove from her post in Kiev.
Giuliani's use of the private jet raises questions about how he is funding his campaign in Ukraine to defile Trump's political rivals. And it is likely that Congress Democrats who support Trump's impeachment and Manhattan prosecutors are reported to be investigating whether Giuliani has violated lobbying laws while running his campaign in Ukraine, including his efforts to undermine Yovanovitch, who was recalled in April has been .
Neither Giuliani nor his spokesman replied to BuzzFeed News' comments. Rovt did not respond to an email request and did not respond to ICS Aero and OAN communications offices.
Rovt, an up-and-coming New York real estate investor with Ukrainian roots, invested billions in the production and trading of fertilizers. In 2011, he sold his overseas fertilizer assets to Firtash. According to Bloomberg, it was a Russian chemical conglomerate.
However, Rovt appears to continue to maintain close relationships with powerful elites in Ukraine. In 2016, then President Petro Poroshenko awarded him the Order of Yaroslav the Wise for outstanding services to the state and people of Ukraine, as published on the President's website.
Rovt, a pro-trumper, is said to have attempted to donate $ 10,000 to the President's election campaign on election day, but had returned all but the legal limit of $ 2,700. He is also linked to a $ 3.5 million mortgage loan to former Trump campaign chairman and convicted financial fraudster Paul Manafort through a real estate investment firm founded by a former Trump business partner.
Giuliani's spokesman Allen, OAN host Chanel Rion, was an OAN cameraman, and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko, whom Trumpworld held up as his own “whistleblower”.
In Kiev, the group met several controversial Ukrainian politicians, including ex-Attorney General Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko, who both passed on disinformation to Giuliani for months. Giuliani's visit stirred up Kiev, and Zelensky's office tried to ignore the former New York Mayor and the journalists running around to find him.
Shortly after the visit, OAN published video footage of Giuliani's journey. BuzzFeed News was able to identify the jet it flew with, matching the jet in the OAN video and a tweet from everyone when the group was on board with publicly available photos showing similar stripes, logos, and interiors. Telizhenko then confirmed the aircraft information by phone from Kiev.
When asked how the plane was booked for the group, Telizhenko said: "We had a company that booked the flight and that was it. I didn't even know who the plane was We got it through a third company. I have heard of this guy before and he has a lot of planes all over Europe, so it's practical. "
Telizhenko said Vienna was the chosen destination because the airport offers more flight options to Washington than the alternative offered by the Warsaw charter company.
"It wasn't Vienna because it was Vienna," Telizhenko said when asked if the goal had anything to do with possibly meeting Firtash in the Austrian capital Transfer. The next morning [Giuliani] flew out [to the US]. I can guarantee that no meetings of this kind [with Firtash] have taken place. "
" Besides, it's not expensive because it was a group of people with bags and everything else, "he added." It was the same price to use a charter to buy tickets for everyone [on a commercial flight only a few hours in advance]. "
The Beechcraft was apparently booked through VipSky, a Kiev-based charter company. On its website, the Beechcraft Premier listed 1A costs $ 3,300 an hour.
Although it is not clear Whoever paid for the flight, Telizhenko believes that "Mr. Giuliani paid for himself."
"If the OAN was reimbursed I don't know if he was or not, but I do know that he was for himself paid and that was it. ”
The jet left Kiev at around 12 noon local time and landed in Vienna at 12.56 pm According to publicly available flight data trackers, it is local time, which means that the flight takes about two hours took for a price of at least USD 6,600.
This seems to be the second time that Giuliani is using a jet from Rovts ICS Aero. In 2017 Giuliani flew another aircraft from London to the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine with the IBE Trade logo. Flight data and photos published by the city of Kharkiv show this. According to a press release at the time, Giuliani visited Kharkiv to consult with the city on security issues.
Flying outdoors is an indication of the journey of the Ukrainian elite to and from Western Europe. ICS Aero aircraft emblazoned with Rovt's IBE Trade logo were used by several prominent Ukrainian personalities, including former President Poroshenko, his scandalous business partner, and a former Ukrainian legislator who once boasted of having his own private militia for murdering an unarmed soldier to have. Russian separatist.