UARU
Ukraine On The Path To Democracy
8 August, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✅ Freedom House released a report on Ukraine’s democratic progress, which shows it as nation with a vibrant civil society, critical press, but without the additional elements of rule of law or lack of corruption;

✅ Unlike during the Yanukovych regime, resistance in government now comes from “thousands of people who have this conflict of interest who cannot separate their interests as pubic officials and their shadow interest as businessmen or people closely connected to some businesses;”

✅ Society tolerates corruption and despite criticisms and disclosure of facts and evidence coming from the media, very few investigations and criminal cases come out of these revelations;

✅ “In the judiciary system, really nothing has been changed.”

US-based think tank ‘Freedom House’ released a report on Ukraine's democratic progress, which showed the first signs of improvement in many areas since the fall of the Yanukovych regime, including in National governance. The report reflects Ukraine's interesting place as a nation with a vibrant civil society, critical press, but without the additional elements of rule of law or lack of corruption. Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv, stresses that the operation of government itself has become more accountable and transparent, however most of the problems which Ukraine faces now are not connected to the personal individual factor like it was during the Yanukovych times, where the state was a family business. Resistance now comes from “thousands of people who have this conflict of interest who cannot separate their interests as pubic officials and their shadow interest as businessmen or people closely connected to some businesses.”

Apart from the system being penetrated with business interest, Sushko says that society tolerates corruption and despite criticisms and disclosure of facts and evidence coming from the media, very few investigations and criminal cases come out of these revelations. “In the judiciary system, really nothing has been changed,” he says, adding that judiciary reform has to start this year, and civic education and generational changes are required in the country.

The report covers the year 2015, and does not show the progress that has been made in the current year, says Sushko. “The legal changes were visible while the operational changes were not,” he says adding that “the legislation may be important to some extent but implementation is more important.” Many reforms and programs only began at the start of this year and improvements in their ratings will only be visible next year.

Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation on August 5th, 2016 in Kyiv.