Regular Corruption in Ukraine

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Ukraine has shown its interest to join NATO. However, President Joe Biden’s administration has remained reluctant on Ukraine’s plea citing massive corruption cases reported in the Eastern European country.

While no economy can kill corruption entirely, societies that have suffered the effects of totalitarianism and extreme violence tend to hold a special predisposition any time corruption comes into play. Such societies only consider corruption as the only way to survive.

Ukrainians have adopted the Soviet-era trait where bribes and personal connections as the only means to access all sorts of goods. For instance, corruption actions like issuing ‘gifts’ among vendors whose value exceeds the market price to obtain products that are deficient in shops; and using personal ties to secure employment have persisted in Ukraine.

Corruption has become an everyday practice in the lives of Ukrainians. Here are four ways that explain what everyday corruption looks like in Ukraine.

Land registration
The land registry is the hotbed of corruption in Ukraine. In particular, the nation is haunted by a poorly functioning e-cadastre system with inadequacies in handling transactions. The system makes it impossible to determine the parcels of land that legally meet the free-of-cost privatization law. Similarly, Ukrainians need a lot of personal connections to access free land from the state.

Medical care in Ukraine is ‘free’. In other words, the service is theoretically universal and publically funded. However, it is a common practice to ‘reward’ medics any time you visit a hospital in Ukraine. Similarly, medical institutions tend to infuse under-the-table charges and resell medicines initially provided for dead patients.

Access to free-of-charge state goods
The government of Ukraine passed laws to free access to elite schools, kindergartens, and employment opportunities. However, it costs Ukrainians a bribe and corrupt agreements to access higher education institutions and elite schools. Similarly, regular staffs like clinical doctors, teachers, school directors, and nurses have to pay bribes to access employment opportunities in big cities.

Municipal institutions
The National anti-Corruption Bureau in Ukraine has shown partial achievements in the fight against corruption. However, this is not the case for municipal authorities and institutions in the Eastern European economy. Municipal institutions have emerged as the centers of uncontrolled money laundering and massive corruption through unscrupulous tendering processes.

Similarly, members of local councils own companies that participate in the public tendering process or provide services to the municipal governments. Such operations create conflicts of interest.

Judicial system
A survey conducted by the European Business Association revealed that distrust in Ukraine’s judicial system topped the list of hindrances to foreign investment in 2020. In essence, the impartial judicial system has hindered economic development in Ukraine as people have to bribe to access justice.