From the beginning of 2016 Petro Poroshenko has lost half of the presidential ratings. Data of the «Rating» Sociological group shows that among those polled, who would readily vote in presidential election and are set on who to vote for, only 11% would vote in favor of the sitting president. For the reference, in the beginning of the year he had support of 23% of electorate. 

The biggest support of the voters belongs to Yulia Tymoshenko (18%) and Oleg Lyashko (10%). Prior to the parliamentary holiday both of them had held active campaigns against increase in the gas prices, that are continuously being raised, second year in a row.

But Poroshenko retains control over Government, General Prosecutor’s office and the Security Service, that are headed by his protégés. Along with other oligarchs, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksander Turchinov and former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatcenyuk, President is able to further gather necessary votes in the Parliament, where Parliamentary Faction named after him is the largest one. In August President has changed the Head of his Administration. In the place of Boris Lozhkin he appointed Igor Rainin, who until now was the Head of the Administration of the Kharkiv region. Representatives of the «Samopomich» Party in Kharkiv region claimed that Rainin initiated criminal investigations against business that support «Samopomich».

On the 3rd of July veterans of 6 voluntary battalions, that have emerged in the beginning of Russian aggression in Donbas in the spring-summer of 2014 have announced the establishment of the Headquarters of patriot liberation. Headquarters announced three demands to authorities: release of all of the ex-combatants that are groundlessly or unlawfully imprisoned; dismissal of Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios; arrest and imprisonment of those who contributed to Putins aggression against Ukraine: Victor Medvedchuk, Rinat Akhmetov, Yuriy Boyko, Vadym Novinskiy and Aleksandr Efremov. This initiative arose in response to arrests of hundreds of participants of voluntary battalions. In most of investigated cases prosecution is based on testimonies of persons that collaborated with Russian invaders. Participants of the organisation attended the court hearings, which resulted in liberation of a dozen of arrested volunteers.


Not one of the high-level officials was held accountable either for corruption or for the Euromaidan shootings 15 months after its victory.

However, newly created National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) with Specialized anti-corruption prosecutors are starting to conduct investigations that can shed light on the inaction of General Prosecution, Ministry of Internal affairs and the Secret Service in prosecution of top corruption. In June, NABU initiated the arrest of Member of Parliament Oleksandr Onyshchenko on suspicion of organization of a fraudulent mutual business with state-owned company Ukrgazvydobuvannya, that has a 75% share of gas production in Ukraine. The day before Parliament sanctioned the arrest of Onyshchenko, he fled to Russia. In three weeks' time he asked for asylum in London. It's noteworthy that during all of that General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yuriy Lutcenko didn’t give permission to announce international manhunt for Onyschenko via Interpol. Illegal transactions that Onyshchenko is being charged for could not have taken place without the knowledge of the state authorities. Onyshchenko was the center of the Parliaments' group «Volya Narodu», which includes Members of Parliament that in the past were members of the Victor Yanukovych's «Party of Regions», who are now supporting key initiatives of Petro Poroshenko.

Moreover, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau in cooperation with Specialized anti-corruption Prosecutors have come upon grounds to suspect Kostyantyn Kulyck (the prosecutor of the Donbas war zone and an important employee of the General Prosecutors office) in unlawful enrichment. This is the first such case in Ukraine since the beginning of 2015, when Parliament recognised as a criminal offence the acquisition by officials of assets that cannot be lawfully confirmed. The next investigation of the Anti-Corruption Bureau against prosecutors of the General Prosecution office resulted in a massive scandal. Prosecutors, without any legal basis, abducted the employees of the Bureauthat were legally following them, forcibly took them to their office, and according to the testimony of the abducted subjected them to torture, beaten them, held a knife to their eyes and threatened to kill them. This information resulted in public outcry. Several hundreds of people gathered at the GP's Office. They were chanting “NABU” (Anti-Corruption Bureau) and applauding, in an extraordinary (for Ukraine) show of support for the law enforcement authority. General Prosecutor Lutsenko entrusted this investigation to the Security Service of Ukraine. In the part of parliamentary control we are planning on conducting hearings in our Committee on Prevention of Corruption on the results of this investigation. At this nascent time for the Anti-Corruption Bureau it is important to protect its independence and safeguard it from the pressure of other law enforcement officers, whose ties to the top corrupt officials are being exposed by the Bureau.

To this aim, our Committee recommends Parliament to enactlegislation on giving Bureau the right to conduct their own taping. Now, all of the phone taping in Ukraine is controlled by the Security Service, that is headed by Petro Poroshenko's close associate of many years.  


Hundreds of Judges, according to the information of the High Qualification Commission of Judges, have started to hand in their resignations. There could be three reasons for this. Firstly, the Constitutional Court has recognised as illegal the restriction on compensation for judges that had resigned. This restriction was implemented by the Parliament in 2015 for all pensions exceeding 10 thousand hryvnas a month. Now the resigned judges can once more count on life-long payments of several tens of thousands hryvnas a month (from thousand dollars and up). Secondly, a lot of people in the judge’s robe can be afraid of prospective need to disclose the asset e-declarations of their families, that contain luxurious cars and villas, on the Internet. This is a demand of the recently adopted anti-corruption legislation for all of the public servants. Thirdly, judiciary awaits new attestation and new demands for disclosure of their expenses according to the legislation passed in May through President's initiative of Constitutional Amendments. Strategically, dismissal of the judges that fail to comply with new demands regarding the transparency of their assets, is a good thing. But tactically mass resignations of judges can result in a problem: during next year many courts might not have anyone to rule on cases.

In cooperation with anti-corruption NGOs this Autumn we will try to pass legislation in the Parliament regarding creation of the new Anti-corruption Court. This court would consider top-corruption cases. It needs to be given guarantees of independence and protection and the highest criteria should be applied to the selection of the judges. We in the «Samopomich» are canvasing western colleagues and Ukrainian experts for involvement in this court of American and European judges as a jury. They can become great teachers for the new Ukrainian judges and impose a sentence on Ukrainian top corrupt officials, who have most of the current «robe wearers» in their pockets.  


On the 1st of September top officials started to fill in their asset declarations with means for them to be publicly available via the Internet. This legislation was supposed to be enacted in the beginning of 2016. But with votes of the Members of Parliament from Petro Poroshenko Block, «Narodniy Front», «Volia Narodu», Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko and «Batkivshina» of Yulia Tymoshenko the Parliament twice blocked this legislation. Thanks to societal pressure and EU and IMF official's outrage, we resumed the Act. The beginning of publishing of the declaration through the Internet was almost sabotaged once more. The State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection in  Ukraine recognized the software as «unreliable». New wave of outrage from society, NGOs, European Union and IMF representatives, Prime-Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyluk and our Parliament Committee allowed us to launch this important anti-corruption law.

I will remind that from last Autumn the law initiated by our committee applies to openness of the information regarding owners of the land, real estate and vehicles. So, with having free access to declarations of all of the officials, journalists, NGOs and social activists can organize public control of the assets of officials. According to the new legislation such control has to be conducted by the Agency of Prevention of Corruption. Fiscal Service has sabotaged this function for years.

There are still some risks regarding cancellation of the demand to publish the declarations via the Internet by the Constitutional Court. The CC is being asked to do so by the Members of Parliament, that were a part of Victor Yanukovitch's party. At least third of the Constitutional Court's judges were also loyal to him. After Euromaidan those judges are under investigation of General Prosecution Office and SSU for giving Yanukovych dictatorship-type authority in 2010, but still haven’t even received a declaration of suspicion. That is clearly an evidence of Petro Poroshenko's influence.

I’ve sent a letter to General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko with a request not to further prolong the investigation regarding those judges of CCU who gave false authority to Yanukovuch. To leave in the hands of these discredited people the fate of the key laws of Ukraine, including e-declaration, is irresponsible. From 30th of September, in accordance with the amendments to the Constitution, initiated by the President, arrest of the Constitutional Court judges without the consent of two thirds of the CC judges would be impossible.

Agency on prevention of corruption has also began to follow through with other anti-corruption law regarding the Parties having to be financed by the tax payers money proportionally to obtain votes. This semester 6 parties that came to Parliament in 2014 will receive 391 million hryvnas (15 million dollars).

Next anti-corruption step in this direction for me is the prohibition of political advertisement. It is the main weapon of oligarchs during the elections, that allows them to give their candidates substantial advantage during all of the elections. This draft of the law was registered by us in August of 2015, but still cannot find required votes in the Parliament.


From 1st of August all of the government procurement in Ukraine is being documented in the e-system ProZorro. Prior to this, since the 1st of April all of the purchases over 200 thousand hryvnas for goods and services and from 1,5 million for work had to be conducted through ProZorro by the Government, big state-owned enterprises and natural monopolist. From now on ProZorro is mandatory to local authorities, utilities and other organizations that use tax payers money. Recognition for implementation of this system should be given to team of ex-minister of economy Aivaras Abromavichus. Great that Volodymyr Groysman maintains this policy.



On the 1st of August new law came into force, that lowers excise for the import of used cars by 3 to 8 thousand euros.

We have also cancelled taxation of pensions. This tax was introduced in 2015 for the working pensioners in amount of 15% of tax from pension, that exceeded three minimal wages.

Work on the new Tax legislation is not moving forward. Without the initiative of the Volodymyr Groysman's Government there isn’t much chance to get anything done, which means that in 2017 we'll miss out on opportunity to give business simple and feasible taxation rules.


In June, media got a hold of project of Constitutional Court Decision regarding proclamation as unconstitutional of key provisions of the law «On Government cleansing» (lusration). It was regarding cancellation of lustration and brining back top-officials of the Victor Yanukovich time. That is why the next dayhundreds of people gathered under the Constitutional Court walls in order to protect the lustration. CC has exceeded by 13 (!) times the allowed time limit for a case trial. Judges didn’t rule on anything concerning the fate of lustration and left for vacation until September. 

Copyright © 2016 Iegor Soboliev, All rights reserved.