The events of the past decade, such as the «Dignity Revolution» in Ukraine, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and the full-scale Russian invasion, opened a «window of opportunity» for the fight against corruption, informs 24brussels.
The flow of money and humanitarian aid to Ukraine — both after the illegal annexation of Crimea and after the full-scale invasion — forced more people to think about where the funds were going. After the full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine intensified its efforts to combat corruption. It restored the anti-corruption mechanism after its expiration in 2017. Recently, new leaders of anti-corruption institutions, such as the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), have been elected.
President Volodymyr Zelensky, the government, and the parliament of Ukraine are taking many steps, including investigating cases against high-ranking officials and members of parliament, to fight corruption. Corruption cases are being referred to court more frequently and actively discussed in the press, which is a good sign: even during the full-scale invasion, the anti-corruption mechanism continues to operate and proves its effectiveness. Currently, Ukraine is entering a phase of not so much symbolic fighting against corruption as systematic work in this direction. The story of the mayor of Sumy, who was arrested for bribery, is the result of cooperation between the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and NABU, fitting into the overall plan to meet the requirements of the West. According to experts, the Office of the President of Ukraine is expected to see resignations of individuals who have tarnished their reputation with loud scandals in the past. Both the case of the former head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Vsevolod Knyazev, and the situation with the arrest of the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky are at the top level of the fight against corruption.
The support of Ukraine by international partners is one of the main factors in countering military aggression from the Russian Federation. Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, the United States remains the largest donor of military assistance to Ukraine. This includes both weapons and money, as well as humanitarian and advisory assistance. The spread of false information or unreliable information in the conditions of a full-scale invasion, including the information war being waged by the Russian Federation, prompts the creation of a mechanism that will allow international partners to ensure that all international material and technical assistance (including weapons and military equipment) they provide to Ukraine is used for its intended purpose.
As the United States plans to continue providing financial assistance to Ukraine and as there is growing opposition in the US on this issue (especially among conservatives), the justification of such a decision becomes increasingly relevant. Therefore, it has been decided to appoint a chief auditor, create a team around them, and delegate them to study the situation on the ground.
In mid-October, special representative of the United States for economic recovery of Ukraine Penny Pritzker arrived in Ukraine, who will monitor the implementation of reforms, compliance with which will be the key to providing financial support to Ukraine from the State Department, and the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense Robert Storch, who will monitor the effectiveness and transparency of the funds allocated by the Pentagon to Kyiv. The US is oriented towards constructive cooperation, and deepening control over the assistance provided will be beneficial for everyone.