A key to understanding any society is its informal institutions, which influence both its economy and its politics. In Ukraine, the most important such institution is endemic corruption, which—aside from Russia’s campaign against Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty—is the main threat to the nation. Under Viktor Yanukovych, this corruption took three forms: The first had to do with the trade in natural gas; the second involved Yanukovych handing out large infrastructure projects at his personal discretion; and the third was outright stealing from the government. Now that the Ukrainian people have now made a choice for Europe, they will have their best chance to clean up their country’s long-corrupt economy and political realm.
The Maidan and Beyond: Oligarchs, Corruption, and European Integration
Issue Date July 2014
Page Numbers 64-73