A year after Ukrainians rose up against the pro-Russian policies of then-President Viktor Yanukovych, business leaders still wait for an end to corruption and cronyism, promised by the revolution’s leaders. Even as war rages in the east and the deepest recession since 2009 shows no sign of lifting, the president, premier and foreign minister said in the past week that graft is the nation’s biggest threat. Ukraine ranks as Europe’s worst on Transparency International’s corruption index.
“Man cannot live by patriotism alone,” said Popov as blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags fluttered from balcony railings across the courtyard. “The year that’s passed hasn’t brought many positive things to ordinary people. Bureaucracy and corruption just haven’t changed.”
Investigative journalist Tetiana Chornovol, appointed in the spring to lead the anti-graft office, quit in August. She said it was useless because there is no political will to conduct a full-scale war on corruption.
This is the Corruption Perception Index according to Transparency International. Note that Russia is only a tad better. While Ukraine is on par with Iran or Nigeria, Russian corruption matches that of Pakistan or Nicaragua: