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Anti-corruption policies in Ukraine

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Anti-corruption policies in Ukraine

Igor Osyka1


In 2001, the Ukraine celebrated ten years of independence. This short period has not been long enough to allow it to overcome the legacy, including very high levels of corruption, bequeathed to it by the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Today corruption permeates all spheres of social life, hampering democratic reforms and the development of a market economy. According to international opinion, the Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In terms of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, in 2000 the Ukraine occupied 88th place among 90 countries.2

Corruption in the Ukraine appears to have become a way of life. For many of its citizens it is an ordinary, everyday form of social behaviour. According to a survey conducted in one of the central regions, more than 90% of those interviewed had paid a bribe at least once in their lives. A con­siderable number of those interviewed agreed with the statement: ‘If you don’t pay, you won’t go anywhere’ (Zeliuk, 2001). The most corrupt institu­tions are considered to be: the medical institutions; the state's automobile inspection agency; the institutes of higher education; the organs of municipal self-government, and the secondary school­s. Other public institutions and spheres of social policy mentioned as being corrupt are: the social security services; customs and tax inspection and administration; education; the health protection services; the agencies of law enforcement and control; municipal executive bodies. According to the results obtained by large numbers of social researchers and in the opinion of many experts, interaction between civil servants and citizens often leads to extortion or bribery (Marunych, 2001).

The majority of the mass media are dependent upon the government or the oligarchs – a group of parliamentarians and other leading politicians who have amassed tremen­dous wealth in the post-Soviet era by using their political offices to gain control of the Ukraine’s most lucrative resources and enterprises. In some cases, businessmen with suspected ties to ‘organised crime’ have purchased media corporations.1  According to other data most TV channels employ shady capital to stay afloat, because the tax burden is so heavy. ‘People’s deputies’ (members of local, regional and national parliaments), political factions or committees, and local authorities all play some kind of role behind the scenes of at least one third of Ukraine’s TV and radio channels.4 It is highly likely that this state of affairs had a significant impact on the 2002 national election campaign.

Sociological research confirms the seriousness of the problem of corruption. According to a survey conducted by the International Foundation for Election Systems in December 2000, 93% of Ukrainians feel that corruption is wide­spread and 75% that it is very widespread. 96% believe that corruption is a seri­ous problem and 81% that it is a very serious problem. In both cases aware­ness of corruption has increased in comparison with previous years (Sikora, 2001)

The number of offences of bribery and criminal abuse of power and position is increasing yearly. In 2000 about 1,500 offences, and during the first 5 months of 2001 1,300 bribery cases, were recorded (Svoboda, 2001). During the first 6 months of 2001 alone, the State Service for the Fight Against Economic Crime detected 9,400 offences within this category. Of these, 54% concerned the misap­propriation of public funds, 11% concerned the process of privatisation and 13% were related to subsidies in the agricultural sector. 3,000 integrity viola­tions were recorded in the energy sector and 1,100 in international business transactions (Litvinenko, 2001). There was also an increase in the number of people charged with brib­ery, 4.8% overall, while for state officials the number increased by 13% (Svoboda, 2001). Since 1996, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has recorded 6,800 cases of bribery, an increase of 20% compared to the previous 5 years (Crime Digest, 2001).

In the years 2000-2001, the Ministry of Interior charged 5,000 people with the administrative offence of corruption. In May 2001 the Ministry launched a special operation, ‘Corrupter’, throughout the Ukraine. Within 19 days of the opera­tion 1,600 administrative cases had been filed. However, only one quarter was eventually brought to trial, resulting in the conviction of only 265 persons, while only 29 persons were removed from office (Svoboda, 2001).

According to the official opinion of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the crime statistics do not reflect the true extent of corruption in the country – an opinion that is shared by many scholars. As corruption is a ‘consensual’ crime, there are hardly any reports to the police by the parties involved, which means that the in­crease in numbers merely reflects the intensification of law enforcement efforts in this field. The majority of the corruption offences included in the statistics were committed 5-6 years ago. 62 % of them are petty offenses (Zeleneckiy and Kalman, 2001: 13-17).

The problem of corruption is widely recognised in the Ukraine. According to the Head of the Parliamentary Committee on the Problems of Organised Crime and Corruption, Yuriy Karamzin, corruption in the Ukraine is rather a social and political than a criminal problem. Because of its widespread nature it poses a serious threat to national security (Svoboda, 2001).

^ The corruption of high-ranking officials

Corruption in Ukraine affects the highest levels of government, including members of the parliament and even the President. According to publicly available sources, the most famous high-ranking criminal in Ukraine is Pavlo Lazarenko, Ukraine’s Prime Minister in 1996–­97, who is suspected of having embezzled or stolen several hun­dreds of thousands of US dollars from public funds and of stashing some $4 million in a Swiss bank during his premiership (Nagle, 2001). But he is not alone. Serious accusations of embezzlement of Western aid funds have been made against the former Speaker of Parliament, Olexander Tkachenko (Shelley, 1998: 658). Legal proceedings have also been started in Belgium against member of Parliament, Volkov, for cheating his Belgian partner out of about $400,000.5

The criminal involvement of members of the national and re­gional parliaments is also a serious problem. One major motive for pursuing a par­liamentary career is to obtain immunity from prosecution. Politicians are very reluctant to vote in favour of lifting their colleagues’ immunity, even when confronted with over­whelming evidence of criminal misconduct. More than 20 members of Parliament would have to be indicted on criminal charges if they were to be stripped of their parliamentary immunity, according to Hryhory Omelchenko, a member of the Parliamentary Committee for the Fight Against Organised Crime and Corruption.6 Forty-four legislators, elected to local political bodies, also have criminal backgrounds.7 Members of the legislature who have personally benefited from the privatisation of state property are reluctant to pass the laws which are necessary to regulate the economy or to limit money laundering as these provisions might eventually lead to their own prosecution. They are also resisting the passage of conflict-of-interest laws.

The biggest Ukrainian corruption scandal ever, took place in the winter of 2000/2001 when President Kuchma was accused of involvement in serious crimes. Among other things, he was accused of: ordering the kidnapping and murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze, whose body was found beheaded; threa­tening local officials with prison if they failed to produce enough votes in the presidential election, and condoning a grenade attack on a political opponent. Incriminating statements by the President were secretly recorded on tape by a former member of his security staff, who planted listening devices in his office. As a result, the opposition joined forces in a ‘National Salvation Forum’ and thousands of demonstrators protested on the streets of Kiev, demanding the Presi­dent’s resignation, but to no avail. The President admitted that the voice on the tapes was his, but he denied the accusations. At the Parliamentary hearings on corruption, Parliament Deputy Hrygory Omelchenko blamed the President for the disappear­ance of DM12 million from the State Currency Fund during his term of office as Prime Minister. Omelchenko also accused the President of knowing about the crimi­nal activities of Pavlo Lazarenko before appointing him Prime Minister (Svoboda, 2001).

Fighting corruption in the higher ranks of the Government has its particularities. First of all criminal cases filed against high-level officials never go to court. Instead the evidence is used in political power struggles and in the elimination of opposi­tion. For example, shortly after joining the opposition’s campaign, ‘Ukraine with­out Kuchma’, Vice-premier, Yulia Tymoshenko, was arrested and imprisoned on corruption charges. Even though suspicions about her were strong throughout the time she served Kuchma, the indictment was only brought forward after she had changed sides. The judge who released her from prison­ on legal grounds is now also facing criminal corruption charges.8

Sometimes facts about this kind of corruption are just ignored. In the late 1990s, Parliament initiated an investigation into bribery com­mitted by high ranking officials, including some ministers, to the tune of $100,000. The investigations did not go anywhere. Moreover, one of the suspects is expected to be appointed head of one of the leading government departments (Svoboda, 2001).

The other unusual feature of the fight against corruption among the higher ranks of the administration is the distinct passivity of the Ukrainian law enforcement agen­cies when it comes to initiating investigations. In the majority of well-known cases it is foreign law enforcement agencies that have taken legal action against high-ranking Ukrainian offi­cials. For instance, Lazarenko was arrested in the USA and faces criminal charges in Switzerland. Recently a group of Ukrainian MPs had to pass documents on money laundering activities by five suspects from the Ukrainian President’s entou­rage to US law-enforcement agencies. They were compelled to turn to the Ameri­cans for help because the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office and the President have repeatedly ignored their calls for action (Ukrayina Moloda, 2001).

^ Corruption involving public officials

In the Ukraine, the lower ranks of the civil service are poorly paid but they encoun­ter many opportunities to supplement their meager incomes by exploiting their positions. One of the factors facilitating corruption among civil servants is the legis­lation currently regulating business activities which includes as many as 32 laws, 18 presidential decrees, and over 80 resolutions of the Government. Furthermore, 32 ministries and depart­ments have authority to issue licenses for various activi­ties and more than 30 government bodies have the power to inspect private enter­prises at almost any time and for any reason (Pidluska, 1998). The major problem with such in­spections appear to be the fact that clear rules and regulations do not exist. Entrepreneurs are therefore often unaware of what exactly a particular governmental inspection body requires or what its powers are. In short, the current regulatory system allows in­spectors to use a great deal of discretion, resulting in a bureau­cratic labyrinth and vast opportunities for corruption, if not extortion. For example, according to an International Finance Corporation survey, the average Ukrai­nian manager spends two days per week on inspection issues. Firms have to re­spond to an average of 78 inspections and approximately 68 written inquiries annually (Pidluska, 1998).

A survey of managers of private enterprises released by the Ukrainian Market Reform Education Program in June 1998 found that 96% of respondents claimed that very high taxes were the reason privatised firms stagnated and failed, and cited current tax policies as reasons for massive tax evasion and the expanding ‘black eco­nomy’. Other reasons included corruption among officials of the national au­thorities (59%), corruption among local civil servants (52%), and state regulation and interference with business activities (36% of the responses) (Pidluska, 1998).

Unsurprisingly, this situation has led to an extension of the black economy. The latter’s size is estimated to be as much as 40-45 % of GNP. It probably deprives the public purse of 10-12 billion hryvnias ($2-2.5 billion) per year (Svoboda, 2001). It is estimated that seven out of ten enterprises operate (partly) in the ‘black economy’. These companies have no protection from corruption, and are thus open targets for bribery, extortion and other forms of graft. Specialists have calculated that in the energy sector the amount of hidden finance is about $1 billion, while in the agricultural sector about $1.3 billion remain unrecorded (Litvinenko, 2001). According to specialists, investments made in the black economy using the proceeds of corruption, range from $200 to $600 millions (Svoboda, 2001). Money laundering is a related problem of considerable dimensions, one that causes as well as feeds corruption. Last year the Tax Inspector’s Office along with the Militia recorded the names of 20,000 phantom enterprises involved in this type of business (Ukrainian, 2001: 4). Specialised firms involved in converting national currency into dollars acquired through the under­ground economy, inlcuding the criminal underworld, and which also specialise in the falsification of documents, are flourishing in the Ukraine. According to the estimates of some specialists, about $15-20 billion, unofficially exported from Ukraine, are kept abroad, com­pared with about $13 billion in loans that the Ukraine has obtained over the last 10 years (Uschapovskiy, 2001: 48).

^ Corruption in law enforcement

Corruption within law enforcement agencies is another huge problem for the Ukrai­ne. The police are considered to be the most corrupt agency. At the same time they are very transparent in terms of their efforts to fight internal corruption. In 2000, 87 police officers were charged with the ‘adminstrative’ offence of corruption (Svoboda, 2001). In 2001 more than 200 police officers were similarly charged (Imenem Zakonu, 2001). The rise in the figures is strongly connected with the active anti-corruption policy of the recently appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Yuriy Smirnov. However, even these numbers fail to reflect reality. Unfortunately, the conditions under which police officers have to work, though rarely mentioned, are harsh, to say the least. For example, the average wage of a policeman is about 250 hryvnyas per week (approximately $50), while he requires approximately 120 hryvnyas (approximately $23) to pay his utility bills (gas, water and electricity) and his rent. This means that he is left with 130 hryvnyas (approximately $27) to meet his other daily expenses.9 Moreover, two years ago policemen were deprived of spe­cial social benefits, resulting in a de facto reduction of their income of about 40%. Little wonder that they supplement their incomes by abusing their positions.

Besides low salaries, insufficient funds are available to provide basic requirements of the job such as vehicles, fuel, computers and communications equipment. Even modest arti­cles like pens and paper are scarce. The lack of funds reflects a negative attitude to law enforcement, which is bound to encourage corruption further.

In spite of all the difficulties, measures have recently been taken to control corruption by and within the Police. New subdivisions responsible for anti-corruption activities within central government agencies were established within the Organised Crime Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and interregional anti-bribery subdivisions have also been organised within the State Service for the Fight Against Economic Crime.

During his third week in office, the new Minister of the Interior issued a Programme to Fight Corruption in the Organs and Divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The programme aims to reduce corruption within the police force and consists of 17 paragraphs. It includes the following measures: the development of a pro­gramme to enhance discipline in the force and detailed recommendations for corruption prevention; the organisation of seminars on anti-corruption legislation for law-enforcement officers; the carrying out of intelligence operations aimed at detect­ing corrupt officers; the creation of a database on the welfare of Police Chiefs; the implementation of a screening system with an emphasis on the personal characteris­tics, business interests and business activities of new recruits; facilitation of the development of Char­ity Funds in support of law enforcement agencies to which business people can transfer money (instead of giving bribes in cash to individual officers); the facilitation of research, and the issue of a booklet, ‘Police corruption and its prevention’; the development of relations with the mass media in order to make the fight against corruption more transparent (Imenem Zakonu, 2001). However, the predominance in this programme of repressive measures casts doubt on its likely effectiveness.

^ Action taken by the state to combat corruption

The State Tax Administration has taken certain steps to address the problem of corruption. For example, it signed agreements with leaders of the business commu­nity and the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs to organise joint working groups to devise new tax laws. A public Board of the Authority was established and the vice-president of the Union was appointed a full member of the Board. Another measure taken by the Administration has been to set up a confidential hotline in every city. Any person can make an anonymous call to submit informa­tion on persons involved in extortion or bribery. The information will be sent to two independent directorates: one for anti-corruption policy and the other for the inspection of human resources. They will verify the information and act depending on the results of the investigation (Ukrainian, 2001).

Since 1998, with the President’s ‘Decree on the Deregulation of Entrepreneur­ship’, the situation regarding the arbitrariness of the business inspection system has begun to improve. This decree provides a rigid framework for the inspection of pri­vate businesses. A firm cannot be inspected more than once a year. The inspections of different control bodies must be conducted simultaneously under the coordination of the Tax Administration. The exception to this provision is criminal investigations. When these are involved, any company can be inspected as many times as necessary. This still leaves room for abuse by law-enforcement officers; for, taxes remain mercilessly high creating incentives for businesses to bribe tax officials rather than pay the taxes themselves.

Despite these actions, the government’s efforts to fight corruption are not con­sidered serious or effective by ordinary citizens. 58.7% of those sur­veyed believed that the Government was not doing anything to curb the growth of corruption or effectively to fight it. Moreover, 77.1% of the respondents agreed with the statement that some of the activities of government agencies even encourage the spread of bribery (Marunych, 2000). Such ineffectiveness of the government’s efforts is often explained by the absence of the necessary legislation and the shortcomings of existing laws. The analysis offered below will reject this explanation. It will show that many laws and provisions are in place, but that the government has failed due to a lack of political will and a failure rigorously to enforce existing laws.

The most important laws in this field are the Law ‘On the Fight Against Corrup­tion' (October 5, 1996, no. 356/95) and the corresponding chapter in the Ukrainian Criminal Code. These two pieces of legislation contain definitions of offences of corruption together with sanctions against them. These laws establish two classes of offence of corruption: administrative and criminal.

The law ‘On the Fight Against Corruption’

This law defines three categories of administrative offence:

  1. acts of corruption;

  2. failure to comply with preventive measures against corruption, and

  3. failure to initiate and conduct investigations into suspected act of corruption.

The act of corruption is the illegal acquisition of material values, services, privi­leges or other benefits, including the receiving or accepting of goods or services by purchasing them at a price (or tariff) that is clearly lower than their actual value (Art.1(2)(a)), and the receiving of credits or loans, or the purchase of securities, real estate or other property, by making use of preferences or privileges beyond the ones determined by the legislation in force. (Art.1(2)(b)­).

^ Corruption prevention measures include (1) special restrictions on the activities of public officials and other persons authorised to act on behalf of the Government. Such restrictions include a ban on offering special services to individuals or firms by using the powers of one’s position, and a ban on involvement in business activities, directly or throu­gh mediators; (2) provisions for the compulsory decalaration of income; (3) an obligation to notify the authorities when opening a foreign currency bank account in a bank based abroad. Special sanctions are applied to top ranking officials in ministries, state-owned enterprises and other public institutions who fail to control corruption within the organisations for which they are responsible or who fail to report violations of the law to the relevant law enforcement agencies (Art. 10). The witholding of evidence, or the falsifying of evidence, relating to an alleged act of corruption are also administrative offences (Art. 11).

The law applies to: (a) civil servants; (b) parliamentarians; (c) village, town or city heads and chairmen of district and oblast councils; (d) military personnel (other than those enrolled for fixed terms of active duty); (e) heads of ministries, state-owned enterprises and other public institutions; (f) persons required to draft reports on corruption offenses. Other persons subject to the legislation include: judges; prosecutors; investigators; security service officers; tax administration and tax police officials; cus­toms service officials; members of staff in courts, prosecution agencies and other agencies authorised to exercise the functions of the state.

Those found guilty of offences under the law can be punished by: (a) a fine of fifteen to one hundred times the amount of a gross minimum income followed by dismissal or suspension from employment; (b) removal from office, in the case of elected representatives; (c) withdrawal of the right to vote or to occupy elected positions depending on the kind of offence and official position of the offender.

The complexity of the law makes it difficult to enforce. Courts often allow improperly drafted reports to be used as evidence in legal proceedings with the result that innocent persons are sometimes brought to trial. Courts sometimes impose fines that are lower than those prescribed by the Law. The unmotivated discharge of guilty persons sometimes takes place. The prescribed length of pro­ceedings is not always observed. Judges sometimes ignore breaches of legal procedures and tolerate delays in verification of the circumstances of offenses, the drafting of reports and the referal of such reports to the courts for review (Supreme Court of Ukraine, 1998).

One in 10 state officials was convicted of the offence of ad­ministrative corruption in the first six years after the Law on Corruption came into force. At the same time no charges were pressed for failure to control cor­ruption or for the withholding of evidence relating to corruption (Supreme Court of Ukraine, 1998; Svoboda, 2001).

^ The New Criminal Code.

Ukraine’s new Criminal Code has been in force since September 2001. Like its predecessor, the new Code contains a chapter on crimes in the public service. It introduces some changes. First, it creates certain new offences connected with the corrupt activities of law enforcement officers. These offences concern the abuse of power or official position and the soliciting of bribes. Such offiences are sanctioned more severely than the other offences covered in the chapter, being punishable by terms of imporisinment ranging from 5 to 12, and 3 to 7 years. In general, however, punishment for these kinds of crime is, with the exception of the soliciting of bribes, more lenient in comparison with the old Code. For example, under the old Code, acceptance of a bribe amounting to more than 500 times the value of a gross minimum income, or by a top ranking official, was punishable by ten to fifteen years imprisonment, the confisca­tion of property and a ban on occupying certain positions or engaging in certain activi­ties for up to five years. Under the new Code the same crime is punished by eight to twelve years imprisonment, the confiscation of property, and a ban on occupying certain positions or engaging in certain activities for up to three years. By contrast, the solicit­ing of bribes was punishable by up to two years imprisonment under the old Code but is punishable by two to five years imprisonment under the new one. Fines have been explicitly introduced as a new, alternative form of punishment for bribery and related crimes. For example, an alternative punish­ment for acceptance of a bribe is a fine of 750 to 1500 times gross minimum in­comes. The crime of aiding and abetting bribery has been excluded from the Criminal Code because, since 1960 when the old Code came into force, it has been very rarely resorted to.

There are also other measures aimed at curbing corruption. An anti-corruption programme adopted in 1996 encom­passes the criminal law, civil education, technical assistance and financial reforms. The Ministry of the Interior assumed responsibility for enforcement of the programme while the Presidential Administration was assigned a key role in its implementation. Fewer than two thirds of the specified actions have been implemented while those that have been implemented have failed to produce positive results in terms of eliminating factors conducive to corruption. Although a number of high-profile arrests were made after the programme was enacted, most of those detained have been bandits rather than the high-level perpetrators whose actions are most damaging to the economy.

In 1998 the President approved the National Programme to fight corruption for 1998-2005. The Programme was accompanied by a statement of principles. Both documents describe the causes of corruption in government and include a number of different measures to be taken to reduce corruption. All of them are of a very general character, however, and there is no control mecha­nism in place to ensure their implementation.

In November 2000, a Presidential decree entitled, ‘On additional measures to fight corruption and other violations in the economic and social spheres and steps to ensure the economical use of state funds’, was signed. In accordance with this decree the Cabinet has set a ceiling on the prices of cars, furniture and equipment provided to top state officials and lower-ranking civil servants (Segodnya, 2001: 4).

A Cabinet Resolution was recently adopted providing for the publication of corruption statistics. The statistics are intended to include criminal and administrative cases and the numbers of individuals found guilty of corruption.

Other laws regulating different aspects of the anti-corruption effort include:

  • the ‘Law on the organisational and legal foundations of the strug­gle against corruption and organised crime’;

  • the Presidential Edicts, ‘On the Co-ordinating Committee for the fight against corruption and organised crime’, ‘On immediate measures to facilitate the fight against criminality’ and ‘Complex Programme on the Preven­tion of Crime for 2001-2005’;

  • the Cabinet Enactment entitled, ‘On the enforcement of the ‘Law on the Fight Against Corruption’ by central and regional organs of executive power’.

Besides these there are a number of legislative proposals being considered by Parliament. They include:

  • the proposed ‘Law on the transparency of information produced by the government and high-level state officials’, the aim of which is to give wider public access to official information;

  • the proposed ‘Law on the investigative committees of the Verhovna Rada’ and the ‘Law on special prosecutors’, both of which aim to facilitate parlia­mentary control of corruption in government.

The aforementioned laws have established a system of governmental agencies given wide-ranging powers designed to help them combat corruption. These agencies are the Coordinating Committee for the Fight Against Corruption and Organised Crime and special departments with responsibility for combating organised crime and corruption within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Tax Militia, the State Security Service of the Ukraine and the offices of the General Prosecutor.

^ Activities in civil society

One of the Government’s achievements in the anti-corruption campaign has been the growth of non-governmental organisations concerned with the corruption issue. In 1999, a coalition of NGOs called ‘Freedom of choice’ was established in Ukraine. A year later they initiated the National Anti-corruption Programme. The Programme is an independent system of actions by non-governmental organisations with the aim of preventing and reducing corruption in the Ukraine. The main objective is to change attitudes towards corruption and to eliminate its root causes. At present, within the framework of the Anti-corruption Programme, 132 NGOs are working in different regions of the country on about 40 projects aimed at monitoring the Govern­ment, providing legal assistance and education to citizens, and promoting the transparency of national and regional governments (Sikora, 2001).

1999 also saw the establishment of Transparency International-Ukraine. The organisation has adopted the name, ‘Ukrainian transparency and integrity’. Today, public-private partnerships for integrity have been established in three oblasts. These activities have concentrated on bringing a wide range of organisations together to develop anti-corrup­tion strategies and to strengthen the links between civil society and the Government by providing the tools necessary to interact effectively with government agencies in the fight against corruption.


There is no need to conclude by offering a list of measures that are necessary if corruption is to be reduced in the Ukraine. They are all included in the relevant documents of the Ukrainian Government and they are all listed in accessible literature and publications on the subject.

The situation I have described leads me to the conclusion that at present the legal and organisational framework necessary successfully to reduce corruption in the country does exist. What is lacking is the political will in the highest levels of the government, where corruption is still rampant, to make this framework effective.

In the Ukraine the tactics are clear but the strategy needs to be altered. Attitudes to anti-corruption activities should be different. First of all it is necessary to reconsider the terminology. The word ‘fight’ is not the best term in my opinion as it implies victory as the final outcome. But in this field it is not possible to win in the sense of eliminating corruption. In the current situation all anti-corruption activities should be aimed at a reduction of corruption. Furthermore, the main focus of anti-corruption efforts should be on its serious manifesta­tions. Petty corruption like gifts to superiors, doctors and teachers are part of national custom and should (for the time being) be taken into account only if they have serious consequences or involve extortion. The mentality of the people is too im­portant to be brushed aside in an all-or-nothing fight. Third, it is very important to understand that a reduction in corruption can only be achieved gradually. It takes time and, given its 10 years of independence and its legacy of 80 years of ‘socialism’, the Ukraine is probably in rather good shape in terms of anti-corruption activi­ties, even allowing for the corruption that goes on in higher places. Fourth, cooperation is very important at both national and international levels. Inside the country the govern­ment should co-operate closely with civil society. Internationally it is very impor­tant to share experience more actively with countries that are close in terms of history and mentality. For the Ukraine these are the states of the former republics of the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.


Crime Digest, January 2001, provided by the US Embassy in Ukraine, Kiev, at

^ Imenem Zakonu, Programme for the Fight Against Corruption in the Organs and Subdivisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Imenem Zakonu (Ukrainian Police Newspaper), nr. 18-19, 8 May 2001.

Litvinenko, Victor, ‘Economics vs. Shadow Sector: who will win?’, interview with the Chief of the State Service for the Fight Against Economic Crime, Lieutenant-General of Militia Victor Litvinenko by Vera Valerko, Militia of Ukraine, nr. 7, 2001, 8-10

Marunych Dmytro, ^ The path of transparency, EastWest Institute, Ukrai­ne Regional Report, Issue #14, 1 March 2001

Nagle Chad, The Revolution Comes to Ukraine, At The End of History, March 30, 2001 at

Pidluska Inna, Corruption versus clean business in Ukraine, at­ml, last visited September, 2001

Segodnya, Government sets ceiling on price of officials’ cars, equipment, Segodnya, 10 April 2001, p. 4

Shelley, Louise I. Organised Crime and Corruption in Ukraine: Impediments to the Development of a Free Market Economy, ^ Demokratizatsiya—The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratisation (Fall 1998), p. 648-663, p. 658

Sikora Ivan, Anti-corruption Projects of Ukrainian NGOs: Common Problems Leaded to Common Actions, paper presented to the international conference, ‘Anti-corruption strategies for coun­tries with transition economies: common problems, common solu­tions’, 18-21 July, 2001, Kiev, Ukraine.

^ Svoboda, Particularities of National Corruption, Svoboda nr. 27 (61), 17-24 July 2001, pp. 3-7 (transcript of the Parliamentary hearings on the problems of corruption in Ukraine, July 4, 2001).

Supreme Court of Ukraine, Plenum of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Resolution No. 13 of May 25, 1998, On the Practice of the Courts in the Determination of Cases of Corruption and Other Related Offences.

Ukrainian, Ukrainian tax chief interviewed on taxation policy issues, Den, Kiev, Ukrainian, 28 March 2001, p. 4

Ukrayina Moloda, Ukrainian MP pins hopes on US investigation of corruption in Ukraine, ^ Ukrayina Moloda, 21 April, 2001, p. 4.

Uschapovskiy V., Shadow Economy as a Source Supplier for Organised Crime, Pravo Ukrainy #4, 2001, p.48

Zeleneckiy V., Kalman O., Corruption in Ukraine and Organisational and Legal Foun­dations of Fighting It, Pravo Ukrainy, #4, 2001, p.p. 13-17

Zeliuk Vitaliy, ‘Rent seeking’ on Regional Level, EastWest Institute, Ukraine Regional Report, Issue #14, 1 March 2001

1The author is Instructor in Criminalistics at the National University of Internal Affairs, (Kharkiv, Ukraine) and researcher at the National University of Internal Affairs - Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology Partnership Program.

22 Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index can be found at:

1 Freedom House, ‘Media Responses to Corruption in the Emerging Democracies’, at

4 ‘One-third of Ukrainian TV channels tied to MPs, local authorities’, official BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom, 9 April 2001 at

5 Ukraine: Crime and Safety Report, 2000, provided by the US Embassy in Ukraine, Kiev, available at

6 ‘Corruption Watch’, Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research, #10, 22 July 1998, cited in Shelley (1998).

7 ‘Ukraine: Security Chief Warns of Local Mafia’s Political Ambitions’, FBIS-SOV-96-219 Daily Report, 8 November 1996, cited in Shelley (1998).

8 Ukraine: Charges to be brought against judge who freed ex-deputy premier, BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; 5 April 2001 at

9 Ukraine: Retired policemen stage protests, demand social payments, BBC Monitor­ing Service - United Kingdom; 20 March 2001



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