A monthly anticorruption newsletter to help international officials and experts working inside and outside of Ukraine to track progress in fighting corruption

«We have reached an unprecedented level of transparency of assets and expenses of state officials, the preposterous scope of which, revealed after their publication, left an unpleasant impression with the people of Ukraine. Now is the time to turn this openness into responsibilities for politicians, state officials, tax officers, prosecutors and judges, who fail to explain the origins of their luxury lifestyles».

The following is the latest news for November-December 2016.


Here are 9 STEPS TO DEMOLISH CORRUPTION IN UKRAINE we have been working on implementation of to sweep away corruption




President Petro Poroshenko once again found himself at the epicenter of a corruption scandal. MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who this summer has fled Ukraine, fearing the arrest by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, claimed he bribed fellow MPs on the President's orders.

Georgian Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili is now in point-blank opposition to Poroshenko. After his party lost parliamentary elections in Georgia, Saakashvili resigned from the post of Head of the State Administration of Odessa region, accused the President of covering up corruption and announced the creation of a new political force "Rukh novuh sul" (Movement of new forces). He named early parliamentary elections among one of the few goals of the movement. This design is shared with "Batkivschyna" of Yulia Tymoshenko and the "Opposition bloc", whose rating increased in 2015. Among those polled, 47,2% of citizens support the idea of early parliamentary elections, 44,9% are against it. These percentages are maintained among the supporters of early presidential elections. This means that just within last year the numbers have seen a diametric change.

Early elections are currently impossible without the consent of the President. Having a firm grip on the largest faction in the parliament and his associates in the chairs of the Prime Minister, Prosecutor General and Head of the Security Service, Poroshenko has no reason to risk losing such a dominion. However, the disappointment of society, indicated by the fact that 66,8% of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine is moving in the wrong direction, keeps the probability of new mass protests high. This may result in early elections of the President and the Parliament in 2017.




Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office declared suspicions of corruption crimes and served notices thereof to two state officials. Chairman of the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine Roman Maguta, who is suspected of embezzlement and fraudulent privatization of the state-owned and state-provided housing, was suspended from work and placed under house arrest by the court. However, the court refused to remove from office the Central Election Commission Chairman Mykhailo Okhendovsky, who is suspected of receiving illegal payments from the Party of Regions, only forbade him to leave Kyiv without the permission of a detective.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office have also submitted to court charges of corruption of persons connected to the oligarchs Dmytro Firtash, Igor Kolomoisky and the former PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko indicted former President Viktor Yanukovych of state treason via Skype, because he encouraged the Kremlin to invade Ukraine after fleeing to Russia. The bottom line is, this move allows the Prosecutor General to argue his effectiveness. Even though there seems to be no trace of progress in the dozens of top-corruption investigations that are conducted by the Prosecutor General's Office. I started collecting in Parliament the signatures for Lutsenko's resignation. The motion of no-confidence vote on Prosecutor General requires a written consent of 150 MPs.

The consideration of the draft law to provide the Anti-Corruption Bureau with authority to conduct surveillance and wiretapping (which is currently within the Security Service of Ukraine's purview) is still blocked in the parliament. I urge the Speaker Andriy Parubiy to put this law to vote in January 2017.




Applications to judges' offices within the new Supreme Court (now conjoined with the Supreme Administrative, criminal and economic courts) were collected. There are 5.5 contenders per one judicial post. A quarter of them are lawyers and scholars, three quarters are acting judges.

We adopted a law on the High Council of Justice, which under the constitutional amendments initiated by the President this summer received exclusive rights to appoint and dismiss judges. The law sets forth a requirement to, within the process of selection of candidates, consider an opinion of the Public Integrity Council, comprising from representatives of the most influential NGOs in the anti-corruption and legal spheres.

Judge Victor Tatkov, who was lustrated in September and who headed the Supreme economic Court in times of Yanukovych, fled before his indictment by the Prosecutor General's Office of suspected manipulation of case assignment.




More than 100,000 state officials, including the President, government officials, members of parliament, judges and prosecutors for the first time published their declarations on the Internet under the law on prevention of corruption. This was the largest anti-corruption achievement of 2016. The introduction of such transparency was being blocked from the time of Viktor Yanukovych. Along with the top journalists and anti-corruption NGOs our anti-corruption parliamentary committee managed to block the attempts, including those of the leader of the presidential faction in the Parliament, to amend (read: rewrite) the law the last minute. The criminal responsibility for providing false information was enacted simultaneously with the public exposure of the declarations.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman set a shining example, having declared $1.5 million in cash. After that hundreds of officials put pen to paper, so to speak, and put their millions in cash in the declarations. The media estimates show that if all the cash, declared by Ukrainian officials, was stacked in denominations of 100 hryvnia (less than four dollars), such stack will reach a towering height of 26 km. The president submitted his declaration two hours before the deadline. His declaration shows he has control over more than a hundred companies in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Spain, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania, China, the British Virgin Islands and the Netherlands.

Journalist investigation revealed that the President did not declare a villa in Spain, which he owns indirectly via his company. The author of the investigation inquired our parliamentary committee about whether it is against the law. We concluded that it is and also passed this information to the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption. This new institution that operates from spring 2016, is responsible for the collection, publication and verification of declarations of state officials. Unfortunately, its leadership that was elected under the influence of the President Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, does not demonstrate the will to organize effective monitoring of e-declarations. In particular, the Agency has not approved the rules of declarations verification. Hence, precisely zero declarations checks commenced. I, like dozens of other parliamentarians, investigative journalists and members of NGOs, wrote appeals to the Anti-Corruption Bureau. The lies in declarations and illegal enrichment is the Bureau's ambit. Bureau began first investigations against parliamentarians and judges.

I believe that our key task next year is to organize effective control (public control included) over the integrity of declarations of officials.




Adopted in 2015, the law on transparency in use of public funds, which requires publication of all payments from taxpayers' money on a specific web-portal, is already followed by 47% of budget fund allocators. Among those to publish this information most readily are the Ministry of Defense (27 thousand records available on the portal), Ministry of Internal Affairs (1.3 thousand records), Ministry of Justice (1.1 thousand records).




Special commissions commenced tenders for election of state secretaries of ministries and heads of regional administrations in accordance with the new law on public service. Unfortunately, most of those resulted in selection of contenders with a dubious reputation. The current procedure allows members of the commissions to manipulate assessment of candidates. Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelian and ad interim Minister of Health Ulyana Suprun refused to work with the "winners" as their state secretaries of ministries, because they were stained with corruption scandals.




In approving the budget for 2017 at the suggestion of the Government, the Parliament adopted a law that requires transparent electronic queue for repayment of VAT to exporters. The law also allows taxpayers to interact with the tax agency over the Internet. Another good solution is a cancellation of the 2% fee, imposed on citizens buying foreign currency in cash. Cons to the law were 50 per cent reduction of rent for oil extraction (a gift, nonetheless, to oligarch Igor Kolomoyskyi), plus the authority, granted to the Government, to reduce the rent for gas production for individual wells, which may create new corruption in allocating such benefits. That is why I voted against this legislation.

The Government also adopted through the Verkhovna Rada a decision which imposes on local communities the duty to finance municipal services of local hospitals and schools. As estimated by Ukrainian city mayors, this will reduce their development budgets by half, previously increased by our decision to keep more tax funds at cities and villages' disposal since 2015.

Already 367 communities merged in Ukraine in amounts that give them a chance at efficacy and greater financial autonomy. Most united communities are in Ternopil (36), Dnipro (34) and Zhytomyr regions (32).