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You're reading: An outlet for public anger at official impunity

News
that Ukrainians strongly believe their state has become more corrupt over the
last two years caused barely a ripple; the sense of vindication shared among
civil society campaigners and activists was likely the strongest reaction.The
sole official mention of the survey was a brief summary tacked on to a
Zaxid.net report on opposition MP Mikola Tomenko’s comments about the
Yanukovych government’s failure to address corruption in the business sector.

However,
a closer look at the GCB results suggests that public expectations of
government are changing. A more nuanced section on individual attitudes towards
fighting corruption turned up very different results than in recent years:
Ukrainians say they are ready to take a stand against corruption. More than two-thirds
of respondents said they would participate in a specific anti-corruption
action, such as joining a protest, signing a petition, or spreading awareness
through social media.

Indeed,
in recent months the government has been forced to act following public
protests, in particular against corruption and impunity in the police force.
According the GCB, the police ranks as the second most corrupt public
institution. The top accolade went to the notoriously government-friendly
judiciary. In May, lack of government intervention following police inaction
during the assault of journalist Olha Sodelat at a political rally prompted a
week of protests. Following the demonstrations, led mainly by local
journalists, the Interior Ministry finally condemned the assault and promised
disciplinary action against the police officers who failed to protect Sodel.

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