Ukraine’s oligarchs strike back, challenging anti-corruption reform


Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has called for the resignation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a defiant impromptu rally in front of parliament in Kyiv, shortly after his supporters freed him from police custody. The U.S. State Department is raising “concerns” about signs that Ukraine may be backtracking on its commitment to fight corruption, jeopardizing support for Kyiv in the West, RFERL reports.

Ukrainian civil society has flourished since the revolution, a shift driven by Western-minded millennials working to change their country in ways spanning the gamut from founding anti-corruption watchdog groups to supporting independent journalism, notes one observer.

Four years after Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity began, Ukraine continues to work on an ambitious reform agenda tackling corruption and stimulating the economy, the Hudson Institute adds:

Thanks to public pressure, civic engagement, and encouragement from international financial organizations, the government has introduced an open procurement process, created oversight and enforcement bodies throughout government, and required public officials to declare their wealth and assets. However, progress has slowed as anti-corruption agencies including the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) have come under attack from parties within the government as well as the oligarchic interests that remain entrenched in the country. Ukraine’s independent journalists have been at the frontline of the fight, exposing corruption among the Ukrainian security services, government, and oligarchs. But they too have been subjected to increasing attacks from hired thugs and even the security services themselves.

On Thursday, December 7 at 4:00 pm, Hudson Institute will host a panel discussion: The Oligarchs Strike Back? The Challenge of Anti-Corruption Reform in Ukraine.

  • Speakers
    is an investigative journalist with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, and the host of “Schemes: Corruption in Details” – a joint production with Ukraine’s First National TV channel in the Ukrainian language. Prior to joining RFE/RL in 2014, Sedletska was a Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow and worked for Kyiv’s TVi television channel from 2009 to 2013. Sedletska is a member of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community and the “Stop Censorship” journalism movement in Ukraine.Hannah Thoburn –[a former Penn Kemble fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy] is a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, where she focuses on Russia, Ukraine, Eastern European politics, and the transatlantic relationship. She currently writes the “Eurasia Uncovered” blog at World Affairs Journal and is a member of the Advisory Council at the Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative.

Thursday, December 7th
4:00 to 5:30 pm

Hudson Institute
Stern Policy Center
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20004


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