WASHINGTON, November 29, 2004 — Accusations of massive election abuses have rocked Ukraine recently. Those familiar with the Center’s reporting on the country won’t be surprised. Here’s a wrap-up of the Center for Public Integrity’s reports on the former Soviet republic.
Ukraine’s corruption timeline
The current crisis in Ukraine is not an isolated event; the contested election is the latest chapter in a long history of struggling democracy, abuses of power and growing public outcry. In the Corruption Timeline, the Center explains the major developments since Ukraine’s independence in 1991.
Ukraine’s Integrity Assessment
The Center’s Global Integrity Report provides a peer-reviewed, law-by-law evaluation of the effectiveness of Ukraine’s democratic practices. Published in April 2004, the report assesses election monitoring practices, judicial independence, executive accountability and more.
Ukraine’s Corruption Notebook
“Nobody asks questions—not the public, not the revenue service, not the prosecutor’s office,” writes veteran Ukrainian investigative reporter Olena Prytula. From the realities of bribery and extortion to legislator’s immunity from prosecution, Prytula writes about daily life in a troubled state.
Ukraine’s Public Integrity Index
Ukraine scored a “weak” overall rating in the Center’s 25 country ranking of anticorruption efforts. In the “Electoral and Political Processes” category, Ukraine was again in the “weak” tier, in part due to a poorly regulated and largely secret campaign finance system. The Report also notes the state’s influence on media coverage and the country’s timid election monitoring agency.
Kuchma Approved Sale of Weapons System to Iraq
In April 2002, the Center reported that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma personally authorized the clandestine sale of $100-million worth of high-technology anti-aircraft radar systems to Iraq on July 10, 2000, in violation of United Nations sanctions. The Center obtained an audio tape of a conversation between Kuchma and Valeri Malev, then-director of the state-owned arms exporting company, Ukrspetseksport. For the full report, go here: http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/411/
Read more in Accountability
A Beirut-based Arab journalist discusses the potential for democracy in the Middle East
Charles Lewis answers questions about the Center’s recent project and the more general issue of ethics in state legislatures today.