One of Ukraine’s biggest embezzlement cases – that against oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky – is likely to be closed due to a recent court ruling, according to the Anti-Corruption Action Center. The ruling may become a death knell for Ukraine’s long-running efforts to prosecute the flamboyant tycoon. Kolomoisky, who is currently
On the tenth anniversary of the pro-Western EuroMaidan Revolution, the Ukrainian parliament approved the first reading of a bill that effectively destroys one of the key tools of the ongoing judicial reform, the Public Integrity Council. The council is an independent civil society watchdog that assesses the integrity of judges
The Ukrainian parliament on Nov. 21 approved the first reading of a bill that effectively destroys a key pillar of judicial reform, the Public Integrity Council, according to civic watchdogs. The Public Integrity Council, an independent civil society watchdog, assesses the integrity of judges and plays a key role in
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been able to build a sustainable authoritarian state, with its economy surviving the shocks of a full-scale war and the following economic sanctions. The key to Putin's success is a team of talented liberal economists who run the state's monetary and fiscal policy. They have
Antisemitic riots erupted in Russia’s North Caucasus on Oct. 28-29, with angry mobs looking for Jews and some going as far as calling for murdering them. The rioters in the Muslim-majority North Caucasian regions protested against Israel amid its ongoing war with Hamas, an Islamist terrorist group in the
Episode #31 is dedicated to the disappointing outcome of the trial against riot police officers who murdered unarmed protestors during Ukraine's EuroMaidan revolution in 2014.
Almost 10 years after the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution, a court ruled against those implicated in the murders of dozens of protesters in the revolution's final days. Yet, the prosecutors and lawyers who fought for years to see a fair trial say justice hasn't been served. Kyiv's Svyatoshynsky District Court on
When Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a fake vote to extend his mandate in March 2024, Ukraine will not be allowed to hold an election due to the martial law imposed amid Russia's aggression. This won't suddenly make Russia more democratic than Ukraine. If Russia had not invaded Ukraine, it
As President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a long-awaited trip to the U.S., the White House is set to announce a new $325 million military aid package. According to reports, it will again be missing the much-desired ATACMS long-range missiles, which Kyiv says may turn the tide of Russia’s ongoing
The death of an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin is not something new in history. More than 20 critics and opponents of Putin have been murdered or died in suspicious circumstances since 2000. However, the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia's Wagner mercenary group and once a
After being mired in corruption and political scandals for decades, Ukraine’s critically important Constitutional Court is now facing an attempt at reform, although its success is far from guaranteed. The issue took center stage when the reform of the Constitutional Court became one of the European Union’s key
Episode #22 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to F-16 fighter jets and the irrational politics behind Western military aid to Ukraine.
After Russian dictator Vladimir Putin launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, he swiftly eliminated the liberal anti-war opposition. But Putin now faces a threat from the other side – pro-war hawks who criticize Russia's political and military leadership for mishandling the war effort. As Russia's war against Ukraine
As Ukrainian soldiers are defending their homeland on the front line, officials in the rear are accused of using the war as a pretext for hiding their wealth. They are able to do so because one of Ukraine’s main anti-corruption tools, the asset declaration system, has been effectively eliminated.
The rebellion organized by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group in June is seen by many analysts as a sign of weakness and fragility of Vladimir Putin’s regime. First, several thousand armed mercenaries managed to march for hundreds of kilometers from Rostov to the vicinity of Moscow, and no one
Appropriating and rewriting foreign history has been a key aspect of Russia's imperialist narratives. This is especially true about the history of Ukraine, which Russia has sought to subjugate for centuries. Crediting Russia as being the sole successor of the medieval Kyivan Rus and laying claims to all of the
Roman Ihnatov, the newly-appointed head of Ukraine’s High Qualification Commission of Judges, may have Russian citizenship, lawyers told the Kyiv Independent.
Episode #10 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to corruption inside Ukraine's judicial system, and how the government has tried to implement reforms to fight it.
All 16 members of the High Qualification Commission, a judicial body that vets and nominates candidates for judicial jobs, have been appointed now. The final selection was made on June 1 by the High Council of Justice, the judiciary's main governing body. The council, which makes final decisions on hiring,
As Ukraine is fighting Russia on the front lines, a much quieter battle is happening in the government offices in Kyiv: the fight to bring the long-suffering judicial reform to life. Compared to the war, almost no one is watching this contest. And yet it’s this battle that will
Semen Kryvonos, the newly-appointed head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), has previously held jobs associated with anti-corruption reforms. Kryvonos was appointed as head of the NABU by the Cabinet of Ministers on March 6 after being selected from a shortlist of three people chosen by a commission
Ukraine’s new media law, signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky in December, has triggered a major controversy. The law expands the powers of the media regulator, the National Council for Television and Radio. Specifically, it gives it the authority to block some media outlets without a court ruling. Its supporters
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Jan. 24 launched the biggest government reshuffle since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022. A deputy head of the President's Office, a deputy prosecutor general, several deputy ministers, and several governors were ousted following a number of scandals, including corruption ones. Some saw
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in our op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. When Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began almost a year ago, the issue of Ukraine’s very existence and survival came to
The Russian economy has faced unprecedented sanctions since the Kremlin launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. The latest events – the West's embargo on seaborn oil and price cap on Russian oil sales worldwide – are seen as a blow to the Russian economy, whose backbone is the energy
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Dec. 20 signed into law a bill on the Constitutional Court that may derail Ukraine’s European integration. The bill regulates the selection of Constitutional Court judges. It has been criticized by Ukraine’s civil society and the West because it fails to give foreign experts
The Verkhovna Rada on Dec. 13 approved a bill on the Constitutional Court that may deal a blow to Ukraine's European integration prospects and allow the president to fully control the court, legal experts say. "By voting for this bill, you are not only disrupting European integration but also enabling
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Dec. 13 signed into law a bill to liquidate the Kyiv District Administrative Court, headed by Ukraine's most scandalous judge Pavlo Vovk. Earlier on the same day, the bill was approved by parliament. The move follows a decision by the U.S. Department of State on
The U.S. Department of State on Dec. 9 sanctioned Pavlo Vovk, head of Ukraine's Kyiv District Administrative Court, to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day, imposing visa restrictions on the controversial judge and potentially blocking his assets. "The Department of State is designating Vovk for soliciting bribes in return for interfering
By invading Ukraine, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin sought to strengthen Russia's geopolitical standing and spread the country's influence across the globe. In reality, it backfired. Due to Russia's unprecedented aggression and its heavy defeats on the battlefield, the Kremlin became much weaker, losing allies in the process. Russia's influence among
On Nov. 2, Russia announced it would continue its participation in the deal that allows grain shipments from Ukraine via the Black Sea, ending several days of turmoil when the vital deal was hanging by a thread. The grain exports crisis started with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which
As Russia is escalating its war against Ukraine and using massive missile and drone strikes to destroy infrastructure, Kremlin propaganda is becoming even more bloodthirsty. The earlier disappointment of propagandists with repeated Russian defeats on the battlefield has been replaced with a feeling of schadenfreude. They are gloating over the