Ukraine has numerous laws to combat corruption by public officials, and following the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 the government launched new anti-corruption institutions, including the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) to investigate corruption by public officials, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP), and the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC). In addition, a law mandated that public officials declare their assets on a publicly viewable online system. These new institutions, however, have had an uneven track record. After the successful 2016 launch of the asset declaration system for public officials, the NAPC failed to fulfill its mandate to verify officials’ declarations and to fairly manage political party finance reporting. NABU and SAP have taken 107 corruption cases to court since 2015, including indictments of high-level officials, but have failed to obtain a single conviction as cases became mired in court proceedings. On June 7, 2018 the Parliament approved long-awaited legislation to establish an Anti-Corruption Court, and the process establishing the court is underway.
Foreign businesses, including U.S. companies, continue to identify corruption in many sectors as a significant obstacle to FDI. Reform of public procurement has been a success story, with the introduction of the online ProZorro system providing transparency for most procurement, except in the defense sector, which remains non-transparent and allegedly a continuing source of corruption. The energy sector has seen some improvements, including reforms at the large oil and gas SOE Naftogaz, but participants in the sector continue to complain of significant and sometimes insurmountable corruption. Government interference in the corporate governance of Naftogaz is a persistent concern. There are allegations of corruption at specific SOEs in a variety of sectors, as well as allegations that external corrupt forces interfere regularly in SOE operations.
There are a number of NGOs actively involved in investigating corruption and advocating for anti-corruption measures. In 2017, the Parliament passed a law with broad requirements for non-governmental individuals engaged in anti-corruption activities to file public asset declarations. The declaration requirements for anti-corruption activists went into effect in early 2018, despite calls from the international community for the Parliament to scrap the requirement.
Resources to Report Corruption
NABU, established in October 2014, is the appropriate resource for the reporting of high-level corruption.
Government of Ukraine contact for combating corruption:
Mr. Artem Sytnyk, Director
National Anti-Corruption Bureau
3, Vasyl Surikov St, Kyiv, Ukraine 03035
Corruption Reporting eForm: http://nabu.gov.ua/povidomlennya-pro-kryminalne-pravoporushennya
Contact at Transparency International:
Mr. Andriy Borovyk
Transparency International Ukraine
2A provulok Kostia Hordiienka, 1st floor, Kyiv, Ukraine 01024
10. Political and Security Environment
The military conflict continues in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts between Ukrainian government troops and forces that Russia leads, arms, and funds. Residents of Russia-controlled areas are subject to political violence at the hands of Russia’s proxy authorities. Civilian casualties occur regularly due to landmines and shelling, as fighting occurs in and around major population centers. Infrastructure for water, gas, and electricity are also frequently damaged by fighting. Ukraine lacks control of over 500 km of its border in Donetsk and Luhansk, allowing Russia to freely supply its proxies with equipment, weapons, and soldiers. Russia continues its illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.
There were several protests and demonstrations during 2018 against the government, mainly evoking populist messaging against economic conditions in the country and perceptions of the government failing to fight corruption. These protests, however, have generally been peaceful with few instances of violence. The 2019 presidential election cycle meant increased competition among political parties, decreasing the pace of work in parliament.