An interesting new article in Democracy Digest revisits Ukrainian democracy and its journey to prominence in Eastern Europe. The article, however, highlights that Ukraine still faces corruption as one of its major challenges.
The article cites Nataliya Gumenyuk, the head of Hromadske, a nonprofit television channel and multimedia news organization, as saying:
Ukraine is a success case for Eastern Europe… If Ukraine succeeds, everybody is watching in the region — Moldovans, Belarussians, the Caucasus, Central Asia. If this country slides back to old times, or goes in the Russian direction, the region is lost.
Regarding corruption, the article quotes authors Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson who noted that:
In terms of economic growth, the Polish and Ukrainian experiences in the decades since the fall of communism have been a portrait in contrasts. Whereas Poland embraced the power of democratic civil society and grew wealthier, Ukraine remained trapped by kleptocratic institutions that bred a culture of corruption and destroyed public trust.
Ukraine (as well as Russia) received the full dose of top-down “privatization” and “market reform.” Without even a pretense of empowering civil society, the transition was predictably hijacked by oligarchs and the remnants of the KGB.
Read more here.