UKRAINE: On Sunday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that corruption, a long-standing problem that has been pushed to the side because of the country’s conflict with Russia, would not be tolerated. He also said that important decisions would be made soon to eliminate corruption.
Even though officials were trying to bring the country together in the face of the invasion, there were reports of high-level corruption, such as questionable military procurement procedures, at the time Zelenskiy made his promise.
In his nightly video speech, Zelenskiy stated, “I want this to be clear: There will be no return to what used to be in the past, to the various people close to state institutions or those who spent their entire lives chasing a chair used to live.”
Ukraine, a country with a long history of pervasive corruption and shaky governance, is ranked 122 out of 180 nations in the 2021 Transparency International rankings, similar to Russia in 2021. The EU made anti-corruption reforms one of the main requirements for membership after giving Kyiv candidate status last year.
Zelenskiy remarked, “This week will be the time for appropriate decisions. The decisions have already been made. I do not want to make them public at this time, but it will all be fair.”
Zelenskiy was elected by a large majority in 2019 on the promise that he would change how the ex-Soviet state ran its government. He said that his government had accepted the resignation of a deputy minister after an investigation into claims that he had taken a bribe.
He did not name the official, but according to press sources, Vasyl Lozinskiy, the acting deputy minister for regional development, was arrested on suspicion of taking a bribe.
Oleksiy Reznikov, the minister of defence, was also the subject of increased scrutiny over corruption after a newspaper claimed that the military had allegedly purchased food at exorbitant costs.
The accusations against Reznikov were called “false” by his ministry, and a parliamentary committee was asked to look into them.
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