Ukrainian Corruption Concerns Reappear as Russian Invasion Continues

Ukrainian Corruption Concerns Reappear as Russian Invasion Continues
  • Corruption in Ukraine is widespread and dates back years.
  • In 2015, The Guardian called the country the most corrupt in Europe.
  • For five months, Russia has been attacking the eastern European nation.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently fired multiple officials.

( – Ukraine has long struggled with corruption. It has infected the country on all levels, including local governments. The problem is so severe, there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to it. In 2015, the British newspaper, The Guardian, said the country was the most corrupt in Europe, claiming it was “so endemic” that even hospitals were compromised.

Fast forward seven years, the country is now fighting an invasion from Russia. Western countries have sent billions of dollars in weapons and aid. Now, the questions of corruption are bubbling again.

Zelenskyy Takes Action

On Sunday, July 17, Zelenskyy fired Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and head of security Ivan Bakanov. The president claimed the terminations were the result of hundreds of ongoing criminal proceedings against government officials who have been accused of treason for working with the Russians. According to Fox News, he said corruption posed “very serious questions to the relevant leadership.”

Zelenskyy also announced authorities have arrested the former head of the Main Directorate of the Security Service of Crimea, an official he fired months ago. He said his decision to terminate the official is now proving to be “completely justified.” The president claimed the former official’s “criminal activities are documented.” Further, Zelenskyy vowed that anyone working with the man would be held accountable for allegedly transferring “secret information to the enemy” and cooperating with the Russian special forces.

Corruption Questions

The terminations of top officials have reportedly led to concerns about corruption again. US President Joe Biden and Congress are sending billions of dollars in aid and want to avoid any problems that would make it hard to pass more packages to help the nation.

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) has visited Ukraine multiple times since the war began. She has recently accused Zelenskyy of “playing politics” and wants him to name an anti-corruption prosecutor to deal with the problem.

While concerns have been raised about the terminations and Zelenskyy’s comments about corruption among government officials, members of both parties in the US are sticking by Ukraine. NPR reported that State Department Spokesman Ned Price pointed out Russia has a history of trying to “destabilize” the Ukrainian government.

Are you concerned about corruption in Ukraine? What should the US do about it?

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