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Banking: Don’t blame Ukraine for the Trump debacle

A deluge of negative transatlantic headlines overshadows the achievements of Ukraine’s reformers.


Once again, Ukraine is hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Just when policymakers might reasonably hope to reap the benefits of a recovering economy and ambitious reform agenda, the US impeachment drama has reinforced stereotypes of Russia’s western neighbour as corrupt and chaotic.

To be fair, Ukraine’s reputation for sleaze is well-earned. More than five years after the Maidan revolution – which was, above all, a protest against endemic and crippling corruption – there have been no high-level prosecutions for graft, let alone convictions.

Indeed, at the current rate, there could soon be more people in prison in the US for Ukraine-related corruption than back home.

160x186newsfebIgor Kolomoisky

Ihor Kolomoisky

Similarly, while it would be harsh to single out new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy for telling Donald Trump what he wants to hear, when most other heads of state are doing the same, his failure to distance himself from notorious local oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky is cause for concern.

Yet focusing on the negatives can make it easy to overlook just how much has been achieved in Ukraine since 2014.

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