Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ukrainians seethe over slow-paced reforms - Features - Al Jazeera English

Kiev, Ukraine - Ruslan Boldyzhar stands outside Ukraine's parliament, among a crowd of protesters and flags, demanding that those inside be scrutinised for links to corruption from the old regime.

Boldyzhar expressed frustratation with the slow pace of change and does not believe the politicians who were in the limelight during the country's bloody uprising from November to February are committed to real reforms.

"They [said] a lot to all of us, that 'We will support you, we agree with you,'" he said. "But during this time they didn't do anything … [to assure] us that they're working for Ukraine but not for themselves."

Boldyzhar arrived in the capital Kiev last Thursday morning from the southern city of Odessa, where he was involved in demonstrations during the revolt that ousted then-president Viktor Yanukovich. The protests, initially over Yanukovich's rejection of closer ties to the European Union in favour of Russia, grew into a movement against what demonstrators saw as corruption and abuse of power.

Corruption is notoriously widespread in Ukraine, Transparency International rated Ukraine 144 out of 175 countries on a corruptions index, just behind Nigeria and Iran.

The crowd of protesters, luxury cars, and black SUVs filled the side street and parking lot of the parliament last week. More demonstrators could be found on nearby Institutskaya Street, which saw some of the worst violence during the deadly protests, and where memorials still stand for those killed during the uprising.

In one building on the street, activists gathered to discuss reforms by the government to try to ensure the changes demanded during the protests would become reality.

Complete story at - Ukrainians seethe over slow-paced reforms - Features - Al Jazeera English

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