Amid allegations of senior-level corruption in Ukraine – including a report of dubious practices in military procurement – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised in his nightly video address on Sunday forthcoming key decisions on uprooting corruption this week and pointed out that it will not be tolerated.
Rampant corruption and shaky governance are chronic problems in the country that have been cast into the background by the war against Russia with Transparency International ranking Ukraine’s corruption at 122 of 180 countries, not much better than Russia in 2021.
Zelensky stressed in his pledge that there will be no return to what used to be in the past and to the way various people close to state institutions used to live and that Ukraine will not tolerate those who spent their entire lives chasing a chair.
After an investigation into allegations that he accepted a bribe, Zelensky’s government, as he pointed out, has recently dismissed a deputy minister that wasn’t identified although media speculated with the name of Vasyl Lozinskiy, the acting deputy minister of regional development who was detained on allegations of accepting a bribe.
Another name that found itself in the spotlight was that of Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov after a newspaper reported the military had allegedly secured food at highly inflated prices but the ministry described the allegations as false although the allegations will be investigated by a parliamentary committee.
Following the arrest of Lozinskiy, Zelensky underscored that he wants that to be a signal to all those in Ukraine whose actions or behavior violate the principle of justice.
He noted that this week will be the time for appropriate decisions considering the fact that, after granting Kyiv candidate status last year, the European Union has made anti-corruption reforms one of its key requirements for Ukraine’s membership to the bloc.