Under pressure: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
George KnopperRedaktor news
Ukrainian government officials and officials enrich themselves from the war. This is the impression they give Corruption is corruption In the context of Ukrainian power circles known in the past few days. President Volodymyr Zelensky (45) responded with several dismissals to regain confidence in the government. Only heads of ministries remain unaffected for now.
The problem is not new: Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. It is determined annually by Transparency International. According to the latest 2021 survey, Ukraine ranks 122 out of 180 in the organization’s global anti-corruption ranking. Denmark, Finland and New Zealand share the top spot in the ranking. Switzerland is ranked 7th.
The Ombudsman was hit by reports
Mark Peith (69), a criminal law professor and anti-corruption expert based in Basel, has covered corruption in Ukraine extensively in the past. While Viktor Yanukovych (72) was still president, Peith chaired a committee that drew up an opinion on the anti-corruption ombudsman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Ukraine. That was before the Maidan riots between November 2013 and February 2014. “If you are forced to pay bribes to public officials, you can turn to them,” says Peeth. At that time, most officials were corrupt.
A foreigner was appointed to the post to ensure maximum independence. “As a result, he received thousands of reports,” the expert continues. The Ombudsman’s office remained active even after the Maidan riots, most recently under the leadership of a foreign national. “Unfortunately, he had to leave Ukraine because of the war.”
The effects of the war and Western aid are still unclear
According to Baith, it’s hard to say what else has changed since the start of the war. “Because of the emergency situation, I think people tolerate less corruption now than before. But the problem is that during wartime you have other priorities than fighting corruption.
Sonia Thurnher (35) of the Geneva-based management consultancy Global Risk Profile confirms that corruption is a big problem in Ukraine. Thurnherr and his staff publish their own corruption index every year. “Out of the 45 European countries and territories included in the analysis, Ukraine is the second most corrupt country behind Kosovo,” says Thurnher. She is yet to say how the war and Western aid will affect corruption in the country.
Artificially inflated prices, bribery
At the center of recent corruption scandals are overpriced military food purchases and artificially inflated prices for state-funded generators. Many government officials are suspected of involvement in illegal enrichment.
For example, the Ministry of Defense concluded a contract for the supply of food to military units, in which it was agreed that prices would be two to three times higher than in supermarkets. Deputy Minister for Regional Development Wasil Loczynski (40) who received $400,000 was caught. Along with other suspects, he is said to be responsible for high generator prices. The group reportedly received multi-million dollar kickbacks from various companies.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”