Monday, August 25, 2014

Ukraine's Revolutionaries Surrender to Corruption - Bloomberg View

To international audiences, Ukraine is now no more than the scene of a Russian-inspired armed conflict. The fighting, however, is confined to areas that are home to 6.5 million of Ukraine's total population of 45 million. Although the outcome there is important to all Ukrainians, there is a bigger issue: Will the country emerge from the wreckage as a better, cleaner one? Some of the heroes of the Maidan revolution, which toppled the corrupt government of President Viktor Yanukovych in February, are beginning to doubt that.

Tetyana Chornovil is one of those heroes, a firebrand investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist whose beating in December, apparently at the hands of pro-Yanukovych thugs, sparked mass outrage. After the regime fell, she was put in charge of the new government's anti-corruption policy. Now, she's quitting, as she announced in a lengthy column on, saying her presence in the government was "useless." "There is no political will in Ukraine for an uncompromising, wide-scale war on corruption," she wrote, complaining that all her initiatives had drowned in a "bureaucratic swamp" and that Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was not interested in attacking the business interests of Ukrainian oligarchs to avoid vilification by oligarch-controlled media.

Ukraine Standoff

Chornovil's bitterness and sense of futility was amplified by the death of her husband, Nikolai Berezovoy, killed in action near Donetsk. Hers is not an isolated case, though: less than two weeks ago, Andriy Parubiy, head of the Defense and National Security Council, also tendered his resignation.

During the winter protests, Parubiy was an important figure, heading the self-defense force that fought off Yanukovych's riot police on the barricades. He declined to comment on his resignation, saying it would be "unacceptable" while his country is at war. The version making the rounds in Kiev, however, is that Parubiy wanted President Petro Poroshenko to be even tougher than he has been in fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, as well as in countering Russian propaganda.

Complete story at - Ukraine's Revolutionaries Surrender to Corruption - Bloomberg View

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