Before the war, corruption scandals were an almost daily feature of Ukrainian political life. The country was ranked 122 out of 180 by Transparency International in 2021, making it one of the world’s most corrupt countries. The EU has made anti-corruption reforms one of the key requirements for Ukraine gaining EU membership.
Since the war, there have been far fewer known instances of corruption as society focused on the wartime effort. But journalists have returned to scrutinising the elites in recent months.
“The elites” is a phrase which nearly a year ago seemed to exit from use in describing Ukrainians — it has been Russia which has elites, more commonly “oligarchs”, while Ukraine has been a bastion of classless democrats heroically protecting Western Europe and by extension the United States from the ravages of totalitarianism.