A monthly anticorruption newsletter to help international officials and experts working inside and outside of Ukraine to track progress in fighting corruption

«The struggle between those willing to keep total corruption and those fighting against it in Ukraine intensifies. An increasing number of street protests shows, on top of everything else, that citizens are ready to support the fight for a virtuous and responsible state».

The following is the latest news for November 2015.

The General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO), Interior Ministry and Security Service of Ukraine have been reporting on results of investigations on «crimes against Euromaidan» for three days in a row. However, according to the parliamentary Anti-Corruption (AC) Committee that oversees investigations in 107 cases, none of the high profile officials responsible for crimes against Maidan and top-level corruption have been actually punished. The lack of any real progress manifested itself on November 19th when Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin and Head of Security Service Vasyl Hrytsak failed to show up at a meeting of parliament’s AC Committee. Lawyers of the victims of Euromaidan persecution claim that the GPO keeps sabotaging the investigation. Members of the AC Committee considered the results of the investigation unsatisfactory.

The President submitted draft constitutional amendments on justice reform to the Parliament. These amendments were met with mixed reaction not least because of an article in the proposed new law that suggests taking away from Parliament the right to express distrust in the Prosecutor General. 

So far, 125 MPs have signed a draft resolution for the resignation of Prosecutor General Victor Shokin. 25 more signatures are required to put the question to a vote in the Parliament.

A Head of Specialized Anticorruption Prosecution (SAP) required for a fully operational National Anticorruption Bureau (NAB) has finally been appointed. The Prosecutor General has chosen Nazar Kholodnytskiy, a «dark horse» among candidates suggested by the selection commission. In fact, none of the candidates strongly supported by civil society and journalists has made it as the Head of SAP. Vitaliy Kasko, known for the case of «the diamond prosecutors», did not it even make it to the short list. Maksym Hryschuk, Lviv prosecutor and warrior who fought for Ukraine on the East, has become the deputy Head

Victor Trepak, First Deputy Head of the Security Service of Ukraine responsible for fighting corruption and organised crime, wrote a letter of resignation naming General Prosecutor Victor Shokin as an impediment to the fight against corruption in Ukraine. 


The Interior Ministry has failed to execute the law on open registers for two months. The Parliamentary AC Committee has decided to hold a special meeting on December 17th to debate the delays in execution of this Law.

The Ministry of Health has signed documents for the purchase of medicines with three international organisations: UNISEF, UNDP and the United Kingdom Crown Agents. 60% of state purchases should now be carried out according to international procedures. However, the Ministry of Health is backpedaling the process of transferring money to accounts of two of the three companies with the fiscal year ending in December.

The AС Committee has requested the Speaker of the Parliament Volodymyr Hroysman to publish a report on the costs of maintaining Parliament.

Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) supported the establishment of the National Agency for the detection, investigation and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes. The draft law №3040 was supported in second reading by 260 MPs.

Parliament has also adopted a law that requires local councils to publish voting results of each local deputy.

The Rada supported an important law on the creation of a State Bureau of Investigation. This Law takes away the function of investigation from the GPO and Interior Ministry and gives it to a new independent agency. It is expected to finally change Ukraine's legacy Soviet system where arrests, investigations and accusals all happen within one state agency. In addition, the law envisages competitive salaries and a transparent selection of management and investigators, paving the way for a non-corrupt state investigation.


Two draft Tax Codes have been registered in the Parliament. Both provide for tax cuts and a reduction in the number of tax officers. However their adoption is problematic because of a the confrontation between the Ministry of Finance and the parliamentary Tax Committee chairman, both part of the quota of Bloc Petro Poroshenko.

The GPO has refused to investigate the accusations of V. Nalyvaichenko, former Head of the State Security Service of Ukraine, against I. Kononenko, First Deputy Head of the Presidential faction in Parliament concerning his links with an offshore company and an alleged fraud.

Mykola Martynenko, MP (member of «Narodnyi Front» faction which is part of the government coalition, and is led by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk) said that he had decided to relinquish parliamentary mandate. Martynenko said that he was doing so to stop attacks on him personally and the government, and authorities in general. Martynenko became the center of a scandal when it was revealed that the Swiss and Chech authorities had been investigating cases on money laundering connected to enterprises in Ukraine.

Parliament failed to vote for the draft law «On State Service» on November 26th. The voting was postponed to Tuesday, December 8th. Adoption of this law is expected to reduce the number of civil servants and introduce open competitions for each position. However, this version of the law does not solve the problem of low salaries, which are a key factor in corruption prevention. The Prime Minister has proposed the creation of a special fund that would be filled by donors. However, the idea was first raised over a year ago and has not had any success so far. 


The new National Police of Ukraine has become the center of a pubic scandal soon after Khatia Dekanoidze was appointed as its Head. Civil activists discovered that she has appointed the discredited Vasyl Paskal, ex-deputy Interior Minister, as her first deputy. Civil society wrote Dekanoidze an open letter stating that Paskal headed the criminal investigation department of Ministry in the times of Yanukovych and should be dismissed under the Lustration Law. Paskal has so far avoided lustration with the use of an absurd court decision and has been linked to the tragic events on 31st of August 2015 outside Parliament, when a grenade was thrown by a provocateur killing four national guardsmen. Civil society and MPs, whose invitation to the AC Committee both Dekanoidze and Avakov had ignored, went out on the streets demanding his dismissal. The protest resulted in an extraordinary reaction from Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who condemned everyone to hell. Eventually, Dekanoidze announced that Paskal would no longer remain deputy head of the new national police. However, shocked by the reaction of Avakov advocating for Paskal, activists started a petition for his dismissal. 


Former Head of Odessa regional state administration of Yanukovych times and current member of «Opposition block» Mykola Skoryk MP, filed a crime report to the GPO concerning alleged pressure exercised on judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine when considering the Law «On Government Cleansing» on April 16th. The GPO started an investigation by questioning MP Iegor Soboliev (Chair of the AC Committee), Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko and a number of civil activists. It is worth recalling that it was MPs from the «Opposition block» (mainly former allies of Yanukovych) who requested the Constitutional Court to check the constitutionality of the Lustration Law and that Mykola Skoryk is subject to lustration prohibitions himself.


Hundreds of people came out to the streets of Kryvyi Rih city (Dnipropetrovsk region) protesting against the falsification of local mayoral election results. The city is significant since it produces 7% of the state's GDP and is one of the two centers of the business empire  of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. Based on documental evidence protesters claim that the City Election Committee falsified the victory of Yuriy Vilkul, the candidate from «Opposition block». They also argued that two thirds of the Committee were acting in favor of this candidate even though they represented different political parties, namely Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Narodniy Front, Batkivshyna and  Radical Party of Liashko. MPs of «Samopomich» party whose candidate was competing against Vilkul joined the protests in Kryvyi Rih. They initiated the creation of a temporary investigative commission that was voted for on November 26th. Media and public outrage pushed the national leaders the parties involved to withdraw their representatives from the Election Committee. Later, the Administrative Court of Appeal sustained «Samopomich»’s claim and called for a recount of votes in six electoral districts.

15 MPs of the «Petro Poroshenko Bloc» who disagree with the general policy of the party announced the creation of «anti-corruption platform» within the faction.