Ukraine Doubles Down on Corruption

Ukraine Doubles Down on Corruption

After almost a year of full-scale war, the sudden emergence of corruption incidents in Ukraine is not surprising. However, it must be considered in a broader context. The emphasis is on the lack of any such disclosures in Russia, Ukraine’s would-be conqueror. The scandals, in this light, are a manifestation of extraordinary strength in a nation that stands firm thanks to a valiant military and Western life support.

Yuri Nikolov, a highly appreciated investigative journalist, disclosed a Defense Ministry contract for purchasing food for the military at prices 50% higher than the commercial level. The Defense Ministry refuted any wrongdoing, although it did not explicitly deny Nikolov’s facts.

The ministry’s procurement has been labeled and thus hidden from public viewing in Ukraine’s cutting-edge Prozorro public tender system since Russia attacked it last February. Besides, ministry officials have declined to respond to legislators’ inquiries about contracts.

There’s a dilemma of the tradeoff between keeping civil society informed and giving the enemy too much information. Hence, Nikolov’s demand for a return to pre-war transparency is likely to evaporate. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on the other hand, cannot ignore wartime corruption and profiteering since he won the election on anti-corruption promises.

Who are the other key corruption persons under crackdown?

Kyrylo Tymoshenko is one of the key officials in charge of rebuilding Ukraine after Russian invasions. In addition, he’s also deputy chief of staff to Zelenskiy. After being spotted driving around in a Chevrolet truck donated to Ukraine for emergency evacuations in October, he resigned. Tymoshenko handed over the vehicle to the emergency services once the incident became public. Additionally, he was accused of renting a huge mansion from a construction tycoon. Some people also spotted him abusing a Porsche loaned by a rich entrepreneur.

In a sting operation involving a $400,000 kickback on an equipment purchase, Ukrainian law enforcement arrested Deputy Infrastructure Minister Vasily Lozinskiy. During his time in the Lviv city government, Lozinsky was an associate of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.