Home / Opinion / Views /  Mint Explainer: Why a corruption scandal in Ukraine has gained attention in West

A growing corruption scandal in Ukraine has caused a slew of resignations from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s cabinet. Mint breaks down the growing scandal that threatens to tarnish the government’s reputation even as the war rages on.

In a matter of a few days, key Ukrainian officials resigned from their posts after several faced allegations of corruption in the Ukrainian media. Some, including acting minister for regional development Vasyl Lozynskyy, were arrested for corruption after being accused by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The scandal in Ukraine has so far claimed five deputy ministers at the central level, several region governors and even President Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff.

The accusations levied against them vary. While Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff was accused of riding expensive sports cars, the deputy minister of defence resigned after allegations surfaced that supplies for the country’s armed forces were procured at several times the market price.

While the Zelensky administration has come down hard on those accused of corruption, it reflects that Ukraine’s struggle against corruption continues even as the country wages war against Russia. The influx of aid, weaponry and other financial largesse from the West, along with the general chaos of organizing the war effort, may have created the ideal conditions for graft and corruption.

A report by Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, ranked Ukraine 122nd of 180 countries on its corruption rankings.

The country’s struggles with corruption can be traced back to its becoming independent after the fall of the Soviet Union. Like a number of former Soviet republics, Ukraine’s botched efforts to privatize state-owned enterprises led to the formation of corrupt oligopolies.

Over the years, the problem has remained a constant irritant in the country’s politics, with the problem percolating into a number of government institutions. Corruption is such a deep-rooted problem that while the European Union has agreed to consider allowing Ukraine into the EU, it has put forward a set of key demands on corruption reform.

Ukraine’s corruption problem is significant precisely because it risks attracting the ire of Ukraine’s Western backers. The US has poured upwards of $100 billion into the country in the form of military and humanitarian aid. Europe has similarly given Kyiv around 51 billion euros.

The reconstruction of Ukraine will also require considerable resources from Europe and the US. With massive sums set to be committed, Western nations will want firm assurances that their taxpayer dollars will not be diverted or lost due to corruption. Ukraine’s internal battle against corruption will prove equally important as the ongoing military conflict with Russia.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout