The combating with corruption in Ukraine: Successes, problems and approaches of their resolving

Valentine Halunko,
Professor, Doctor in Law,
Academic of Ukraine Supreme Education Academy,
Director of Research Institute of Public Law of Ukraine

The combating with corruption in Ukraine:
Successes, problems and approaches of their resolving

Abstract: This article asserts that Ukraine carried out a considerable step
forward in relation to a fight against a corruption after revolution of Dignity and
subscribing the agreement about an EU association. Very important anticorruption
laws were accepted and independent anticorruption organs were created.
Keywords: corruption, law, parliament member, elections, chart, people,
state, civil society.

Ukrainian people continue the process of the dynamic development. The
dominant factors of the valuable state system consolidation in 1991 were signing of
agreement about an association between Ukraine and European Union in 2014 [1].
On this way, the Ukrainian people have two fundamental challenges. From the one
hand, it is Russian-terrorist aggression. Russia tries to bring down the Ukrainian state
system from there out [2]. From another hand, a corruption destroys Ukrainian nation
The invocation of corruption is global [3], however for Ukraine it stands
sharply. Corruption is a systematic and historical factor in of Ukraine. According to
the Constitution, Ukraine is constitutional, democratic and social state with market
economy. Ukrainian nation suffers from two dangerous factors: external one is
Russian terroristic aggression and internal one is corruption. Meanwhile, the second
factor is more harmful. The volunteers, Armed Forces of Ukraine and National Guard
of Ukraine stopped Russian military aggression in Ukraine.
There were a lot of factors as patriotism of Ukrainian nation, sanctions of
European Union`s members and The USA and low oil prices. All these factors cased
Russian weakness and it does not have economic potential. The corruption becomes
the greatest enemy of Ukrainian nation. According to “Transparency International”
research in 2015 Ukraine ranks 130 place of the corruption level among 167
countries along with Paraguay, Nepal and Iran [4].
As well as for other EU nations [5], a corruption in Ukraine has different
backgrounds: historical, social, political, business, domestic and legal. For Ukrainians
a corruption is artificial formation that was dictated by the Russian Mongols and
Ukrainian officials educated by them. As experience shows, corruption disappears,
when the honest Ukrainian leaders successfully provide to the inferior officials high
salaries and transparent control for official activity and life of officials [6].
From the side of legislation and advocacy the fight against corruption is
acceptance by Parliament of Ukraine such laws that increase officials’ salaries to the
reasonable level, at simultaneous, decline officials amount and predication of legal
mechanism to rigid control after their incomes and costs.
Ipso facto, to overcome a corruption in Ukraine, first, the steadfast political will
is needed, but the deputies of Ukrainian parliament are persons that grew and made
the grade in the conditions of corruption reality. Some of them are infected by a virus
– corruption. Accordingly, without civil society pressure and with the pressure of
European Union and acceptance of anticorruption legislation, majority will not
struggle with a corruption.
After revolution of Dignity Ukrainian parliament, force-feed by civil society and
European community carried out some steps in relation to anticorruption legislation
averment in Ukraine. Based on this legislation new independent anticorruption
organs were created [7]. However, it is only the beginning. Situation improvement did
not happen yet. A corruption in Ukraine is not overcame [8]. Further steps are
necessary for a fight against a corruption.

The Ukrainian family had been a main pillar of Ukrainian nation for centuries,
than the state. It had a great impact on relationships between citizen and the state,
including its modern Ukrainian state. The state is a secondary value for the majority
of people, in spite of the family.
There are some advantages if it applies to ordinary citizens. An adequate
individualism of the Ukrainian nation is a positive factor in the development of the
whole country. However, it is unacceptable when family values become the basis of
life and activities of higher and middle level public officials. They initially provide
prosperity to their families, then their close associates and surrounding. Indeed, only
after that they think about the needs of the state and the entire Ukrainian nation [9].
Such people did not shun to give and take bribes for the prosperity of their
families. In the past, such situation was a widespread and did not have considerable
condemnation from civil society.
Here is an example in the modern Ukrainian history of typical and successful
family. A couple of young university graduates (husband and wife) got into the grave
economic and social conditions at the beginning of Ukraine’s independence (1991).
Furthermore, they lost jobs and ability to support their three children [10]. In a crisis,
they are optimistic and begin to work creatively. Husband establishes own
household, he takes on lease land in his villagers; he buys a cheap machinery and
repairs it; he grows wheat and oats, pigs and bulls in small production. He sells
grown products on local agricultural markets. Children help him in this activity. At this
time, the wife who previously worked as rural teacher goes to work in Russian
Moscow, where she earns the currency for investing in a business development.
Consequently, it is possible to multiply hundreds of times corrupt capital, and
become a member of parliament, or a member of the government, or a senior central
executive authority or head of the local administration. When young people brought
up in such way, and become the highest officials of the state, with an excellent
education, fluent in English, the society should not expect that they will no longer
worry about their families and will act for people’s benefit. They believe that parents
helped to achieve success, not a nation.

The ruling Ukrainian elite, which are in power, grew up, studied and worked in
a previous era. These elite come from past corruptive age. For instance, The
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was Minister of Foreign Affairs during Victor
Yanukovich`s regime. The Prime-Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman was a
mayor of central city of large province. The same applies to most of the central and
middle managers in public administration.
Finally, almost all public units of modern Ukraine grew up and made career in
conditions of corruptive society.
Honest citizens could not make a successful career if they did not involve in
corruptive schemes. Evidently, the involvement of European specialists in Ukrainian
public administration is necessary measure. The presence of foreign experts in
Ukrainian public administration is essential factor in struggling corruption.
Insignificant progress of foreign specialists in Ukraine did not achieve a great
success in combating corruption because of insufficient number of them.
For instance, Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko achieved success
working in government; behind her, the middle managers of State Fiscal Service took
bribes for refunding VAT.
First case of corruption with a perfect legislation is the staff who struggling
against it. Another way to tackle this problem is appointing citizens in public service
with high-quality Ukrainian, European or American education, but without practical
experience in Ukraine. The private or public managers could not achieve any
success without being involved in corruptive schemes.
Second case of corruption is particular mentality. Ukrainian nation did not have
its own state for few centuries. Ukrainian nation could survive and develop through
family and community. The mentality of Ukrainian nation survived particularly in small
communities far from central cities.
The values system of Ukrainian nation is characterized by worrying about
children and other members of family for a long time. Unlike of the most European
countries, Ukrainian parents are caring for children almost to 40 years old. They help
their children to make a career.
For example, sons of former President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich achieved
success in a short time. One son became milliner and second became the deputy of
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament).
The second value of Ukrainian nation is concern for close surroundings.
Leader’s compatriots occupy the main governmental posts. For example, the most
positions on high and middle levels had got officials from Donetsk region during
Victor Yanukovich`s regime. This is a political corruption, which can transform into
law corruption.
The third point is that domestic civil society is extremely weak. E. g., there is a
person accused in bribery from Oleg Lyashko`s Parliament Radical Party. This
person is Igor Mosiychuk [11]. Party’s leader defends him, instead of excluding from
the membership ranks. Nevertheless, this party has favourably increased ratings.
Therefore, an ordinary citizen respects those who do not betray their friends,
relatives and compatriots. Even if they committed corruptive crimes.
As a result, it is necessary to change an educational system of secondary and
higher schools. Young people need to be intolerant to corruption among their
relatives and friends. Moreover, it is important to involve foreign experts as well.

On 2nd of June 2016 Parliament of Ukraine accepted changes in a constitution
in part of justice [12] and new redaction of law on the judicial system and status of
judges. It is possible to claim, that regular judicial reform took place in Ukraine. The
tenor of that document from the viewpoint of corruption fighting is that judges from
one side will get decent salaries it is possible comfortably to live on that, from other
side sets a severe public monitoring for incomes and costs.
According to that, corruption acts will be non-beneficial for judges. They will
get the deserving labour remuneration and report about every spent kopeck. In
addition, judges will report about gains and expenses of all relatives including distant
With the aim to interfere corruption was issued the law of Ukraine from 2 nd of
June 2016 “About the judicial system and status of judges”. According to that act
judge is obliged to the next:
– to follow the rules of judge ethics, including discovering and supporting the
high standards of behaviour in any activity with the aim of strengthening of public
trust in a court, keeping society confidence in honesty and incorruptibility of judges;
– to provide declaration of judge’s respectability and declaration of judge’s
family relations;
– to execute requirements and adhere to the limitations set by a legislation in
the field of corruption prevention;
– to give declaration by the authorized person executing of the state or local
self-government functions;
– to apply with a report about interference in his judicial activity in relation of
justice realization to Supreme council of justice and to the Prosecutor general during
five days since he knew about such interference;
– to confirm legality of property origin source in connection with passing of
qualifying evaluation or in order of disciplinary production in relation to a judge, if
circumstances that can have a consequence bringing the judge to disciplinary
responsibility because of a doubt in legality of property origin source or respectability
of judge behaviour.
Monitoring of way of living standards accordance establishment of judge and
his family members can be conducted upon request of Supreme council of justice.
Backing-away, ill-timed presentation of family ties declaration by a judge or
presentation in his science unreliable (including incomplete) information will have a
consequence disciplinary responsibility. Judge was removed from his duties when
violated to confirm legality of property origin source [13].
Final and transitional provisions of Ukraine law of the 2nd of June 2016 “About
the judicial system and status of judges” need an additional analysis. In that act
realized positions of Ukrainian scientist А. Ivanyshchuk, that the antithesis of the
administrative adjusting of judicial power branch is maintaining some influence of
executive power on a judge corps, with the aim of reformation necessity of the
corrupted judicial department [14]. Coming from such theoretical construction and
transitional analyzable law provisions, President of Ukraine for two years gets
possibility to appoint judges, create and liquidate courts during two-year term after
the entry of law of Ukraine from the 2nd of June 2016 “About the judicial system and
status of judges”. Practically President of Ukraine accept political responsibility for
forming of the new rule making system in Ukraine, that must be a non-corruptive,
independent and to follow in the activity by principle of law supremacy.
Hopefully, that emergency plenary powers of President of Ukraine stated in
the law of Ukraine from 2nd of June 2016 “About the judicial system and status of
judges” will be used for providing the courts with honest and professional judges on
competitive principles, but not by the path of designation of loyal judges from
President’s surrounding.

In the last few years after revolution of Dignity, force-feed civil society and
European Union, Ukraine ruling power carried out ponderable steps in relation to a
fight against a corruption.
Initially, in the field of rulemaking was conducted the constitutional reform. It
will give an opportunity to renew a judge corps, get rid from the corrupted judges.
Overall, it means that possibility to decide legal disputes in the system of honest
courts in accordance with principle of law supremacy to the physical and legal
persons was provided. As a result of this reform, a supreme anticorruption court will
be created.
On the other hand, passed acts and created such independent anticorruption
organs: the National anticorruption bureau of Ukraine, the Specialized Anticorruption
office of public prosecutor, National agency on corruption preventive questions. All
from the abovementioned anticorruption organs began their practical activity [15].
Thirdly, in the Ukrainian parliament there are young deputies of new formation,
which were never involved in corruption schemes, did not take and gave bribes. They
totally do not want and cannot work for to the “classic” corruption schemes of
Ukraine. For example, it is such public deputies as Mustafa-Masee Nayem, Yegor
Soboliev, Nadiya Savchenko. And although in the conditions of present time they are
in a minority, future is after them. We are convinced, that in future parliament of
Ukraine an amount of such politicians will be majority.
Fourthly, principles of civil society became stronger. Corruption schemes,
including higher public servants of the state are criticized avowedly. For the public
practically there are no secret themes and untouchable persons.
The public
broadcasting began to work [16]. Gradually Ukrainian society comes to the state of
complete non-tolerant attitude to the corruptioners.
Fifthly, partial business deregulation is carried out [17]. Single social payment
is mionectic in two times. A moratorium prevails on business verifications realization
by public organs supervisory. However, it is necessary to remember, that
corruptioners in supervisory authorities constantly trying to take revenge. After every
accident they try to renew the right on business verification [18].
Sixthly, it is passing an act of Ukraine “About a national police” on creation
and adjusting of new police work [19]. Whole society saw that the Ukrainian officials
can and want to be honest, when they get a deserving salary, accordingly taught,
provided and explained morally by respect of society. And although the unreformed
office of public prosecutor tries to destroy positive groundwork in the field of it,
however, public progress already won’t turn back. A new police became business
card of Ukrainian reforms.
Seventhly, the system of the public purchasing named “ProZorro” began to
work in Ukraine, which gave an opportunity almost to eradicate corruptions in that
field. Every producer or service provider that will offer the highest bid “price – quality”
has the opportunity to win transparently a tender on supplying with products or grant
of services to the public government bodies [20].
Eighthly, in Ukraine at the government of А. Yatseniuk successful reforms
passed in such ministries as Ministry of justice, by Ministry of internal affairs, Ministry
of economic development and trade, Ministry of finance. They began to work
transparently and almost without a corruption.
Ninthly, dickers of Ukrainian citizens, that used to be the citizens of Georgia
and conducted successful reforms there, work in Ukraine. And although in most
cases they are not given to conduct personally analogical anticorruption reforms in
Ukraine, however their educational activities brings up the new generation of the
Ukrainian politicians and officials with zero tolerance to the corruption [21].

Ukraine carried out a considerable step forward in relation to a fight against a
corruption after the revolution of Dignity and signing of agreement about an
association with EU. Very important in that field anticorruption laws were accepted
and independent anticorruption organs were created. Made alteration and
supplements in Constitution of Ukraine in relation to a justice, in particular due to
them a supreme anticorruption court will be created. Parliament of Ukraine accepted
the new release of law of Ukraine “About government service”, according to that, all
positions will be occupied on a competitive basis, system of legislation that provides
realization of transparent tenders. In Ukraine transparent administrative services
appear in most ministries.
However, Parliament of Ukraine fails the row of anticorruption reforms. A new
electoral code that would confirm exceptionally the proportional system of elections in
Parliament of Ukraine on open lists was not accepted. The majority of law
enforcements are unreformed (office of public prosecutor, Security service of
Ukraine, State fiscal service of Ukraine). Not passed acts, that confirms in Ukraine
the European system of grant of medical services. The nepotism is not eradicated;
there is not an anti-oligarchic legislation. So as the determined amount of public
deputies of Ukraine grew and did the career in the conditions of corruption, they are
related to certain corruption schemes of the not legal enriching, then to accept
necessary to the people anticorruption laws they are able exceptionally force-feed by
Ukrainian civil society and institutes of European Union. Without these two factors of
pressure to count on continuation of the improvement of anticorruption legislation is
impossible. Initial in this list is an acceptance of electoral legislation, what would
confirm exceptionally the proportional system of elections in the Parliament of
Ukraine on open lists. Then new parliament that will revive more than on 50 percents
will be able to complete anticorruption reform.

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European Union, and provisional application of the Association Agreement
between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and
their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, as regards
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#4734 [accepted by Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 2 nd June 2016] //
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24th of April 2015 No 75.
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2015, No40-41, p. 379.
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