Assuming that the USA does not want to take on the role of being the world's policeman for any corruption where ever it might occur, The US might legitimately be concerned about corruption (occurring outside the US) that adversely impacts the United States. Are there credible examples of such corruption in Ukraine?

In response to those who consider the question too broad, I'd settle for ANY example.

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    I think this can be answered. Ukraine is an ally of the US because of it's location. The US has a geopolitical interest in Europe and Ukraine is part of that geopolitical interest. Corruption that isn't in favor of the US is in favor of others, possibly adversaries of the US (and Europe). As such, it remains to find a concrete example of such corruption in the past and we're done.
    – JJJ
    Oct 21, 2019 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


This isn't a good question because stamping out corruption in an ally (of sorts) is generally desirable. Even more desirable if you fund a major part of the international financial bailout system, like the IMF. Corrupt countries tend to be money sinks.

Of course one can take the ultra-cynical view that keeping a country corrupt and dependent on IMF bailouts is somehow an advantage for the US giving them extra leverage. But that's probably not the mainstream viewpoint given all the downsides of corruption.

There's article on how corruption in Iraq for example is major problem for the US exerting influence over there, while it is a boon for Iran's influence.

Wikipedia has some stats for how widespread corruption is in Ukraine, but these mostly involve the view from the local population. As for the big-business view from outside, which would be most interesting to the US directly, EY (Ernst and Young) had a survey of

senior executives with responsibility for tackling fraud, bribery and corruption. These individuals included chief financial officers, chief compliance officers, heads of internal audit and heads of legal departments. They are ideally placed to provide insight into the impact that fraud and corruption is having on business globally.

For Ukraine, 0% (yes zero) of the respondents said that they believe "authorities are willing to prosecute and [are] effective in securing convictions" on corruption cases. And 88% agree that corruption is widespread in business in Ukraine. Which basically means that they believe that doing business in Ukraine entails at least dealing with some of the competition engaging in corruption unimpeded. As you should know, laws in the US prohibit companies giving bribes abroad.

And it's difficult to point to any case in particular because no high-level convictions have been secured:

Poroshenko introduced an anti-corruption agency, but according to the non-government organisation Transparency International, it has failed to bring to account any corrupt high-level official.

So we'd have to resort to mere allegations for big cases.

Probably the highest profile case of corruption without individuals being found corrupt is that of the former president's Yanukovych [entourage]:

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment that Yanukovych headed a criminal organization, and named 56 members of the group that ultimately came to be known as The Family. The judicial decision [...] said the group laundered state assets through 400 companies, including Kurchenko's Prosperity Developments.

The $1.5 billion was laundered through foreign accounts, prosecutors said, then returned to state-run banks controlled by The Family as securities.

Despite obtaining reports on the missing billions and cooperation from foreign governments, Ukraine has not convicted anyone from the Yanukovych regime.

Yanukovych himself happened to be pro-Russia and rather anti-EU/West. An Ukrainian court did find him guilty of treason though, but apparently not because of any bribes taken or fraud, but just his policies, i.e. "complicity in Russian military intervention in Ukraine" as Wikipedia puts it.

  • I will read your source, in the meanwhile: Is there good reason to suspect that corruption occurs in New York? Does France (as an example) feel impelled to "stamp out corruption" in New York? If, for example, a real estate developer in Arizona is bribing a building inspector, should France (or any other country) feel that they should become involved and investigate (because France & US are treaty allies)?
    – BobE
    Oct 21, 2019 at 0:35
  • Your answer is a bit like my comment under the question. You outline a possible avenue to answer the question, but it lacks a concrete example relevant to this case (corruption in Ukraine and direct effect on US interests). I think that's a reasonable thing to ask, it's a hot topic and by looking at past cases you can get an idea how it affects different actors.
    – JJJ
    Oct 21, 2019 at 3:02
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    @JJJ: In my answer, I assert that all corruption cases in Ukraine affect US interest albeit to a small degree for each. As such I feel no need to point out a particular case. Oct 21, 2019 at 5:05

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