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A protester wearing a mask of President Petro Poroshenko and a sign with the word "Impeachment" attends a rally outside the Ukrainian parliament, Kiev, Oct. 17, 2017 (AP photo by Efrem Lukatsky).

Ukraine’s Own Government Is Trying to Derail the Fight Against Corruption

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018

Today in Ukraine, both inside the government and out, it isn’t uncommon to hear that President Petro Poroshenko is no less corrupt than Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin-connected leader who was ousted in the 2014 Maidan revolution. The main difference between Poroshenko and Yanukovych, according to many Ukrainians, is that the Poroshenko administration is simply far more duplicitous at presenting a polished image to Western donors.

That was the view from more than 100 interviews with Ukrainian public officials, activists, lawyers and businesspeople that I conducted as a visiting Fulbright scholar at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy throughout 2016 and 2017. This striking message is a warning that after several years of hard-fought victories in the wake of the Maidan revolution, Ukraine’s campaign against corruption—the root of many its political ills—is facing tough times, with implications that extend beyond Kiev. ...

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