Here are 9 STEPS TO DEMOLISH CORRUPTION IN UKRAINE we have been working on implementation of to sweep away corruption

Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavichus has resigned 3d of February decrying corruption in the Cabinet of Ministers and blaming Ihor Kononenko, MP from Petro Poroshenko Block and one of the closest alies of the President, in defending corruption schemes in state enterprises. 

16th February the Parliament of Ukraine has called unsatisfactory the work of the Cabinet of Ministers, but failed to vote for its resignation. Albeit earlier that day President Petro Poroshenko publicly addressed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk and General Prosecutor Viktor Sholkin calling them to resign, the Parliament lacked 32 votes to dismiss the government. Notably, 39 MPs from the Presidential fraction failed to vote for resignation, including President’s closest alies. MPs associated with oligarchs Rinat Akhmetov, Serhiy Liovochkin, Dmytro Firtash and Ihor Kolomoiskiy also did not give their votes.

The next day «Bat’kivshyna» party headed by Yulia Tymoshenko announced its decision to leave the coalition that had formed the Cabinet of Ministers. One day later «Samopomich» also pulled out of the coalition. Notably, «Samopomich» has been offering the coalition to replace the Prime Minister with a stronger figure that would be able to fight corruption and conduct the deregulation of economy since November 2015. With the withdrawal of two parties the coalition should have ceased its existence. However the first deputy head of the Parliament Andriy Parubiy claimed that the leadership of the Parliament considers the coalition acting since de jure MPs from Oleh Liashko party never signed statements of withdrawal announced September 2015.

Mikheil Saakashvili has started a Ukrainian tour promoting his anticorruption movement «For the Purification». Analytics see this as a launch of a new political force. Mr. Saakashvili obtained Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and has been appointed as a Head of Odessa Regional State Administration. According to Ukrainian legislation he cannot be elected a President or a member of Parliament, but can be appointed a Prime minister or head a Ministry.

On a second anniversary of Maidan shootings a couple of hundreds of veterans of an ongoing war with Russia gathered in the Kyiv city centre. Part of them has occupied a hotel nearby and demanded to hold early Presidential and  Parliamentary elections. However, due to the absence of known leaders and detection of representatives of Russia’s «fifth column» and Security Service of Ukraine among protesters, the protest stopped two days later not supported by thousands of people who visited the venue to honor the memory of those killed two years ago.


Upon public call of the President the General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin wrote a letter of resignation. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the GP is appointed and dismissed by the President if agreed by respective voting of Parliament. The Parliament is to vote for this on 15th March. A group of MPs has been striving for the dismissal of Viktor Shokin since Summer 2015, though only 126 MPs out of 150 necessary to put his dismissal on voting have signed the petition. Resignation of Shokin was also demanded by anticorruption NGOs and the US government. One day before Shokin’s letter of resignation the deputy General Prosecutor Vitaliy Kasko has resigned claiming that GPO is all corrupt. He was responsible for investigations of cases of corruption inside the GPO.

16th February Parliament voted for the law that raises demands for the members of the commission that is to choose the special anticorruption prosecutor and gives him more independence in appointing his team. During the voting Iegor Soboliev suggested to cross out President’s idea to give General Prosecutor the right to disagree twice with the results of open competition on selection of anticorruption prosecutor. Special anticorruption prosecution (SAP) was launched in 2015 as an alternative to corrupt General Prosecutor’s Office to control the investigation of National Anticorruption Bureau (NAB). SAP is now headed by Nazar Khlodnytskiy selected during an open competition. With his permission NAB is now investigating resonant cases involving MP Ihor Kononenko previously accused in corruption by Aivaras Abromavichus and Mykola Martynenko allegedly close to Prime Minister who withdraw from a mandate after continuous accusations in corruption, including international. 

29th February Cabinet of Ministers appointed 6 out of 9 members of the commission that is to select the senior management for the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). This newly created body will take away the function of investigation from GPO and Interior Ministry. Three members left should be appointed by the Parliament, but the Speaker of the Parliament Volodymyr Hroysman is not putting on voting proposed candidates. The idea of SBI originated as an instrument to break the soviet system where arrests, investigations and accusations happen within one state body. The Law guarantees good salaries and competitive selection of all officials and investigators of the Bureau.


16th February Parliament allowed the officials not to declare the property of their relatives, limited the information on assets to be declared and postponed introduction of liability for declaring incorrect information to 2017. The Law was drafted with the help of the President’s associate, the Head of the Parliament’s Committee for the legal policy Ruslan Kniazevych and read out in the session hall by the member of the presidedential fraction Vadym Denysenko few minutes before voting. The Law was supported by the majority of the Petro Poroshenko Block, the National Front, Oleg Liashko Party and Batkivshina. Iegor Soboliev, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Corruption Prevention and Counteraction addressed MPs calling to not vote for the Law in this version and has refused to sign it. The EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombinski called that law «a disappointment»Coalition of anticorruption NGOs «Declarations under Control» picketed the Presidential Administration demanding to veto the law. The electronic system of asset declarations was supposed to launch in April and was one of the EU’s provisions for visa liberalisation.

The Parliament’s Committee on Corruption Prevention and Counteraction held the hearings with participation of journalists and NGOs on implementing the Law on open registers of real estate, land and cars. As a result of the hearings the Committee recommended the Government to cancel the fee for getting the access to the real assets registers and make the information accessible free of charge, as it is now with the registers of land and cars.


16th February the President of Ukraine signed the Law on implementing the electronic system for the public procurement of goods and services for the amount over 200 thousand hryvnya and of works for the amount over 1.5 million hryvnya. It is to start on April 1 2016 for the central government authorities and for the customers, which operate in certain spheres of economy; and starting from August 1, 2016 — for all customers. The team of the Minister of Economy Aivaras Abromiavchus, who has recently resigned, worked a lot on implementing this system. Implementation of this system in 2016 is estimated to save 4.5 billion hryvnya.

The Law which obliges to publish the votings of every deputy of the local councils has come into force. It will allow citizens, journalists, civil activists and NGOs to detect who is standing behind making decisions. 


The General Prosecutor's Office continues to sabbotage the investigations of crimes against Maidan activists and high level corruption listed in the register «In the name of Ukraine». Serhiy Horbatiuk, the head of Department of Special investigations, confirmed that two years after Maidan only 2 hooligans were convicted, not a single former or current high profile officials is convicted for cases of high level corruption. 

Investigative journalists have made public a video that shows how Oleksandr Avakov, son of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and Serhiy Chebotar, former deputy Intrior Minister, agree on corruption scheme on purchasing backpacks bypassing official tender procedures. This case has been under investigation of the GPO since summer. On a request of Parliamentary Committee on Corruption Prevention and Counteraction the GPO informed that nobody has been declared suspect for the 8 months of investigation. 


20 judges who are to be or have been already dismissed for Maidan cases challenge submission for their dismissal in High Administrative Court of Ukraine (HAC). In 6 cases HAC has already cancelled the submission. The final decision on whether such actions are legitimate has to be made by the Supreme Court of Ukraine. According to the Law «On Restoration of Trust to the Judiciary» (1st law on lustration of judges) a special commission was formed in order to check up if there were any signs of breaking the judge’s oath in actions of judges while delivering the verdicts on Euromaidan and Automaidan activists. According to the report, in total, 331 judges had to be checked up, but due to the interference with the Commission work only 66 of them went through the check ups. As of the end of February eight of them were dismissed by the President of Ukraine. As to the other judges the decision should be made by the Parliament. However, the Speaker of the Parliament  Volodymyr Hroysman is not putting them on voting. 

According to the information of Council of judges (highest body of judicial self-governence) only 41 out of 7731 judges in Ukraine are subject to lustration under the Law «On purification of the Government» (Lustration Law). Most judges have refused to provide a consent for lustration checkings, and no single judge has been recognised subject to lustration as a result of checkings of their asset declarations. This is a bright example of the State Fiscal Service sabotaging the declarations verification in accordance with the Law «On Purification of Government», since the major part of judges lead a luxury lifestyle which is not adequate to their salaries.  

Totally 897 senior officials of the Yanukovich era have been dismissed in accordance with the Lustration Law. Presumably, twice as many people resigned by themselves. However, some high profile officials still remain on their positions in violation of the Lustration Law. For instance, President violates the Law by not dissmissing Deputy Head of the President’s Administration Oleksiy Dniprov and the Head of Kirovohrad Oblast Administration Serhiy Kuzmenko. Furthermore, courts have been blocking the lustration of the Head of Kyiv City Tax Inspectorate Ludmila Demchenko, Kyiv city prosecutor Oleg Valendiuk, a former First Deputy Head of the National Bank Boris Prykhodko, who above everything else is being charged with a theft of 2.69 billion hryvnya from the Agrarian Fund.  

Copyright © 2016 Iegor Soboliev, All rights reserved.

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