Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 16 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/26/20

Ukraine's Coronavirus Fund: Oligarchs, Corruption, and Cronyism

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   1 comment
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 518801
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Alex Wright
Become a Fan

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Igor Kolomoysky is a Cypriot-Ukrainian billionaire business oligarch
Igor Kolomoysky is a Cypriot-Ukrainian billionaire business oligarch
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: Справедливість. Анна БезуликГол. режисер Андрій Дончик, режисер Темур Гоголадзе, гол. оператор Ігор Іванов, оператори Андрій Онопрієнко, Ми)
  Details   Source   DMCA

This year Europe and the United States have donated millions of dollars to Ukraine to fight COVID-19. In fact almost half of the funds were allocated not for medicines or medical equipment, but slip into the pockets of the Ukrainian construction firm's cartel and foreign contractors.

Non-earmarked expenditures

The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world and Ukraine is not the exception. There are reports from all over the country on overcrowded hospitals, problems with hospitalization, lack of necessary medicines and oxygen. This spring authorities created the fund totaling $2.3 billion specifically to fight the pandemic and its consequences. The fund consisted of money from the Ukrainian government, European Union, foreign states and grant organizations. Ukraine was provided with funds from the UN ($33 million), EU ($232 million), Germany ($181 million), United States ($15 million), Canada ($0.5 million) and even South Korea ($0.7 million). According to the open sources, international assistance amounted to $462 million, or at least 20% of the Ukrainian Coronavirus Fund. What is more, the EU agreed on an additional $1.5 billion lending program due to the pandemic.

In November a scandal broke out in the Ukrainian media. Former Finance Minister and Adviser to the Head of the Presidential Office Igor Umansky said that money from the Coronavirus Fund was allocated for the construction of roads under the presidential program Great Construction. On the threshold of a new lockdown and, as a result, a new wave of the financial crisis, the Ukrainian authorities allocated $1.2 billion to a populist project. At the same time, only $364 million was reserved for social payments, $570 million for health care, and $94 million for law enforcement.

Ruthless PR-campaign

Great Construction started in Ukraine in March. This is a joint project of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Government of Ukraine funded by the state budget. The goal of the program is the construction and general maintenance of 6.5 thousand km of roads, 137 educational institutions, 116 kindergartens and 122 sports facilities. The planned budget together with money from the Coronavirus Fund is $4.4 billion. The President actively used the project to increase his own rating and the popularity of his political party in the run-up to the local elections in late October. Vladimir Zelensky has been visiting every region of the country, where among others he inspected the construction sites of the Great Construction. Such actions of the head of state angered both the opposition and public organizations. Chairman of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Alexei Koshel noted that technically the president cannot be prosecuted for this, but his actions undermined the principles of democratic elections.

Obviously, the ruling party counted on the presidential project as a principal trump in the political struggle. Intensive construction in the regions made it possible to associate candidates from the Servants of People with large-scale road building; however, as it turned out after the Election Day, even such measures did not help the party to get the majority of votes.

Large contracts for local oligarchs

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Alex Wright Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ukrainian writer and publicist. Ukraine-related news, analysis, domestic and foreign politics.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Foreign aid to Ukraine - Part I Bottomless barrel for European and American taxpayers

Ukraine's Coronavirus Fund: Oligarchs, Corruption, and Cronyism

Ukraine: delicate balance between National Socialism and European values

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: