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Poll: Besides war, Ukrainians most concerned about corruption

by Nate Ostiller November 1, 2023 1:02 PM 2 min read
A view of Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 5, 2019. (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Corruption, along with low salaries and pensions, ranks as the top concern of Ukrainians besides Russia's ongoing war, a poll released on Nov. 1 by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) found.

A majority of respondents (63%) answered that corruption was the problem that "bothers them most," apart from the war, the survey found. Low salaries and pensions came in second place, at 46%.

Other timely issues, such as potential delays and lack of progress towards integration with the European Union and NATO, ranked much lower, at 8% and 15%, respectively.

Problems directly related to the war, such as the slow pace of reconstruction of war-damaged territories and insufficient aid for internally displaced people (IDPs), also came close to the bottom list, with 8% and 5%, respectively.

The poll illustrates that the fight against corruption has remained a central concern, even as Ukrainians are primarily focused on the war.

Although slightly lower in the east of Ukraine, corruption was the chief concern throughout all regions of Ukraine.

A majority (54%) of respondents thought that new anti-corruption bodies created since 2014, such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO), should be primarily responsible for tackling the issue.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and his office came in second, with 43%, and older law enforcement agencies, such as the police and Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), were in third at 32%.

Other institutions, such as the judiciary and Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, were ranked much lower, at 24% and 16%, respectively.

Despite the high level of concern about corruption that persists, it is almost important to note that a majority of Ukrainians (59%) expressed optimism about the fight against corruption, another KIIS poll released on Oct. 25 found.

Moreover, the Oct. 25 poll illustrated the significant increase in Ukrainians' optimism about the progress of anti-corruption measures over the last decade.

A poll released by KIIS released in 2015, after the EuroMaidan Revolution, found that less than 13% of respondents believed that the presidential administration was "willing to overcome corruption." In regards to the Verkhovna Rada, the results were even lower, at 6%.

Opinion: Are Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts at a standstill?
“Ukraine is the second-most corrupt country in Europe.” “The situation with bribery has been at a standstill.” “Corruption reform doesn’t work in Ukraine.” These statements have been repeated at various international forums, by foreign officials, and by the media. But how much truth is there to t…

 

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