The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

Challenges: The Ukrainian government faces intense political, military, and economic pressure from Russia and the pernicious influence of deeply rooted corruption. Russia continues its aggression in eastern Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea, closes its markets to Ukrainian goods, and exploits weak institutions and corrupt actors to undermine reforms. Despite these challenges, the Ukrainian government continues to implement important reforms and has laid the foundation of a new system to fight corruption and align law enforcement agencies with U.S. and European standards and practices. Much remains to be done to institutionalize these reforms and ensure the system is effective in combating transnational crime and corruption.

Goals: The United States improves Ukraine’s capacity to deliver citizen security and combat organized crime. This work builds law enforcement cooperation between the United States and Ukraine to address transnational threats, including those with a U.S. nexus. The United States also strengthens criminal justice sector institutions and improves citizens’ trust in government, enhancing Ukraine’s resilience to Russian malign influence. INL’s objectives in Ukraine are to: strengthen law enforcement agencies to address complex security challenges facing Ukraine; reform criminal justice agencies in line with Western best practices; and support Ukraine’s efforts to tackle corruption, including through independent anti-corruption agencies.

Accomplishments: 

  • INL supported the Government of Ukraine to meet the aspirations of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity by standing up new institutions, agencies, and units designed to fight corruption, improve security, and increase access to justice. 
  • INL assisted the Ukrainian government to replace the notoriously corrupt traffic police with a 16,000 strong Patrol Police nationwide and helped establish the country’s first Patrol Police Academy in Kyiv, which is currently expanding throughout the country. This project is one of Ukraine’s most visible reforms and is credited for changing the way Ukrainian citizens interact with and perceive law enforcement. 
  • INL is now expanding police reform to small towns and villages nationwide in partnership with the National Police, local communities, and U.S. law enforcement as part of the Territorial Community Police project.    
  • INL  supported the Ukrainian government’s establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), and the High Anti-Corruption Court.  NABU and SAPO have launched  hundreds of investigations against high-level corrupt actors since their founding. 
  • INL  supports national prosecutorial reform through the re-attestation of all Office of the Prosecutor General personnel, the most significant prosecutorial reform effort ever undertaken in Ukraine. 
  • INL helps the Border Guards to reform its HR practices and establish model border crossing points across Ukraine to address corruption issues and to aid in the apprehension of criminals and terrorists moving across Ukrainian territory. 

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future