First Major Anti-Corruption Case in Ukraine, Explained

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06.03.2017
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What You Need To Know:

✅ Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service Chief Roman Nasirov was arrested over an alleged embezzlement of approximately $75 million;
✅ Nasirov, who is closely connected to president Poroshenko, is known for antagonizing reformers in the country;
✅ “He was attacking and undermining all possible attempts coming from reformers to change the tax administration and to tax the customs service;”
✅ The arrest of Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service Chief Roman Nasirov over an alleged embezzlement of approximately $75 million is an “extraordinary event in Ukraine,” explains Daria Kaleniuk, Executive Director of the Anticorruption Action Centre. In twenty-five years of Ukrainian Independence, no senior official has received such a notification of suspension. “This is the so-called first big fish,” she adds.

Nasirov, who is closely connected to president Poroshenko, is known for antagonizing reformers in the country. “He was attacking and undermining all possible attempts coming from reformers to change the tax administration and to tax the customs service,” explains Kalenyuk. Furthermore, Nasirov was protecting the traditional corrupt system of taxation in Ukraine, and of the Customs Service.

Nasirov’s detention can be seen as a small victory for the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU). However, Kaleniuk says that judges are reluctant to start cases that are filed by NABU: “We still rely on an unreformed judiciary and judges appointed by Yanukovych.”

Hromadske’s Maxim Eristavi spoke to Daria Kaleniuk, Executive Director of the Anticorruption Action Centre during the Sunday Show on March 5th, 2017 in Kyiv.

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