Even In Wartime, Corruption Is A Constant In Ukraine

KYIV, UKRAINE - JANUARY 22: Civilian participants in a Kyiv Territorial Defence unit train on a Saturday in a forest on January 22, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Across Ukraine thousands of civilians are participating in such groups to receive basic combat training and in time of war would be under direct command of the Ukrainian military. While Ukrainian officials have acknowledged the country has little chance to fend off a full Russian invasion, Russian occupation troops would likely face a deep-rooted, decentralised and prolonged insurgency. Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on its border to Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • As Ukraine urges its allies to provide money and equipment to aid its defense against Russia, the corruption-riddled government must prove that the funds won’t go to waste.
  • Fighting corruption is also crucial to Ukraine’s efforts to build an alliance with Europe as it seeks E.U. membership. In June, the European Commission recommended that Ukraine “further strengthen the fight against corruption, in particular at high level, through proactive and efficient investigations, and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions.”
  • But even during wartime, corruption is a constant in Ukraine. Several cabinet-level ministers have been forced out in recent days for accepting bribes or other forms of illegal profiteering.
  • Corruption also plagued Ukrainian society long before the war; according to a 2016 report by watchdog group Transparency International, between 38% to 42% of Ukrainian households reported paying a bribe to access basic public services.

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