Ukrainian lawmakers attend a session of parliament in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2022. (Viacheslav Ratynskyi / Reuters)

Conservative Critiques of Ukrainian Corruption are Misplaced

May 5, 2023


Yes, the nation has problems with graft. But it has shown a willingness to do something about them, and the ongoing war provides an opportunity.

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Conservative opponents of U.S. support for Ukraine often return to a single claim: The Eastern European country is too corrupt. It’s true that Ukraine is plagued by corruption, cronyism, and oligarchy, much of it imported from Russia, but it’s false to say the country is a lost cause. The war will likely spark reform, much as previous crises prompted successful anti-corruption efforts.

Rather than abandon Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe should tie further support to additional anti-corruption progress, helping Ukraine emerge a stronger, more honest, open, and Western country.

Piotr Trabinski is a former executive director at the International Monetary Fund and a senior fellow at Common Sense Society.

Originally published in National Review.

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