I recently had the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in Ukraine, speaking to members of the country’s political and intellectual elite. The most striking impression I came away with was the near-universal disappointment of my interlocutors in the performance of President Petro Poroshenko and his administration.
Ukraine’s new order has failed to make good on the promises of the Euromaidan Revolution; corruption remains untamed and oligarchs retain their influence. Most galling, no one from ousted president Viktor Yanukovych’s venal regime has been held judicially accountable for the misdeeds of the old order.
The cynical truth is that the ongoing warfare in eastern Ukraine offers a good excuse to postpone reforms and continue the practice of diverting state funds into private pockets. Therefore lots of senior members of the Ukrainian government are not necessarily eager to end the conflict.
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Alexei Sobchenko is an independent analyst and translator based in Washington, DC. He has worked at the US Department of State and for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Born in Russia, he holds an MA in Modern History from Moscow State University.