Ukraine is making progress toward tackling corruption

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Albert Torres
Albert Torres
Program Manager, Global Policy
George W. Bush Institute

Ukraine continues to make immense progress toward tackling corruption within its own borders.  

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which serves as the global indicator of public sector corruption, found that Ukraine has improved in reducing corruption thanks to policies implemented in recent years.  

These anti-corruption policies include: 

  • Legislation passed in 2014 that requires government officials to disclose assets and payments from foreign nationals exceeding US$4,200; 
  • A beneficial ownership registry, which requires Ukrainian businesses to disclose who is financially benefitting from their operations;  
  • A Politically Exposed Persons database, which lists politicians and their associates that are more high-risk to corrupt activity; and  
  • The implementation of a state procurement system known as ProZorro, which brings impartiality and transparency into the sale and purchase of government products and the awarding of government contracts.  

Since the databases are publicly available, the media, civil society, and financial institutions are able to act as watchdogs that make it more difficult for corruption to thrive. 

The anti-corruption initiatives are producing results. In November 2023, Yuriy Shchyhol, the chief of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection, was detained due to his connection in an embezzlement scheme that defrauded over US$1 million. Other similar actions have been taken, such as the arrest of oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky and ex-Defense Ministry official Oleksandr Liyev. 

The arrests come in light of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s announcement of several reforms that strengthen Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office to meet international standards. 

As a result, Ukraine has improved in its CPI ranking for the past several years now ranked 104 out of 180 countries. These policies demonstrate how the country prioritizes combatting corruption and acts as a beacon for freedom and hope in the region.  

While Ukraine continues to fight against internal corruption, the United States and our international allies must continue to support the country in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked invasion.  

We can’t allow Ukraine’s valiant efforts to be in vain – U.S. support for freedom and democracy in Ukraine must remain strong.