Do recent scandals in Ukraine indicate an increase in the levels of corruption here?


Some of the Russian media has seen the last corruption scandals in Kyiv as a sign of the dishonest dealing grown in Ukraine. “Ukraine stops functioning, – writes, speaking about the dismissals of officials. – The rise of corruption and bribery is a sign that the state and its individual institutions are gradually ceasing to operate.” What really corruption scandals in Ukraine about – find out in our article.


Will to fight corruption increase

In the last few weeks, more than a dozen high-ranking Ukrainian officials were removed because of corruption scandals. There is a top advisor, four deputy ministers, and five regional governors among them. Ukrainian authorities also raided the properties of the country’s former interior minister and oil tycoon Ihor Kolomoiskyi.

“At this time, the government realized how Russia was using corruption in Ukraine to display it as a failed state to the West. So the political will to fight corruption increased. The National Anti-Corruption Strategy was launched in 2022 and as anti-corruption experts, we got back to our pre-war task of fighting corruption,” – Oksana Nesterenko, lawyer and executive director of the Anti-corruption Research and Education Centre at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, told Al Jazeera.


Public demand for anti-corruption has grown

We asked a political scientist, historian, hybridity specialist, director of the Institute of World Policy Yevhen Mahda about the current situation in fighting corruption in Ukraine.

Political scientist, historian, hybridity specialist, director of the Institute of World Policy Yevhen Mahda. Photo from Facebook

“In the fight against corruption, we are actually facing some interesting challenges, – Yevhen Mahda says. – On the one hand, there is a strong public demand for combating corruption, and the large-scale Russian invasion only increased this demand making it more important. On the other hand, it must be understood that all cases of weakness of the Ukrainian state machine are used by Russia in its own interests without any sentiments.

Therefore, I think it is necessary to talk about the fact that criticism of specific corrupt officials should be clearly directed. Secondly, there should be a clear state position and a policy of intransigence regarding corruption. Thirdly, it should not be said that corruption is so comprehensive. In any case, our Western partners have no complaints about the use of weapons, ammunition, etc. But the issue of public finances will always be sensitive. And this should be understood, in my opinion, by absolutely everyone.”

We also wrote about the lack of possibility of western weapons being smuggled to the Middle East and Africa by Ukrainians in our article Is there a threat for weapons sent to Ukraine to be sold on the black market?


How Ukraine fights corruption in the wartime

“The Ukrainian Review” has sent an official information request about fighting corruption in wartime to The National Agency on Corruption Prevention, which is responsible for developing anti-corruption policies and preventing corruption in Ukraine.

The National Agency on Corruption Prevention responded to a request from The Ukrainian Review

After receiving an answer, we have picked some information that, in our opinion, can be interesting for our readers:

  1.     In August 2022, the National Agency determined the list of state authorities, state enterprises, and local self-government bodies in which it will conduct an inspection of the organization of work on the prevention and detection of corruption. The very first inspections began in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Ukrspecexport, Artem Holding Company, and other strategically important bodies and enterprises of the defense and security sector.
  2.     As part of the inspections, the National Agency provided recommendations to the Ministry of Defense and enterprises in the field of its management regarding the improvement of the corruption prevention system, aimed at additional assessment of corruption risks that arose in connection with the introduction of the legal regime of martial law and their minimization.
  3.     The National Agency also pays special attention to the development and ensuring the functional capacity of authorized units in the field of prevention and detection of corruption, especially in the security and defense sector.
  4.     The anti-corruption program of the Ministry of Defense for 2021-2024, developed by the Ministry of Defense unit and approved by the National Agency, provides for the creation and implementation of an electronic system for monitoring the procurement, supply, storage, distribution, and consumption of material and technical means as safeguards against corrupt practices in the technical and rear support of the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, monitoring their consumption, carrying out activities aimed at the digital transformation of the Ministry of Defense, implementation of electronic document management, etc.
  5.     In addition, the National Agency conducted a strategic analysis of corruption risks in areas closely related to the war: providing housing for military personnel, crossing the state border, limiting the import of medicines, and receiving humanitarian aid.

It is worth adding, there are many other anti-corruption institutions in Ukraine. After the Revolution of Dignity (2013-2014) it was also noticed a fast-growing number of anti-corruption initiatives in the country among civil society.


Addition: an interesting fact about corruption in Russia

While the existence of corruption in Ukraine has been used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify the war and pro-Kremlin media called Ukraine the most corrupt country in the world, according to the Transparency International Corruptions Perception Index 2022, Russia itself occupies the 137th position in the ranking and is more corrupt than Ukraine (rank 116).

Ukraine received 33 points out of 100 possible in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index. (TI Ukraine). Source:


Alina Kuvaldina

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