Aid not making dents in Ukraine’s anti-corruption effort, says EU auditor
Findings come ahead of annual high-level summit in Kyiv

KYIV – An independent report by the European Union’s (EU) independent outside auditor of finances said the 27-member state body’s reform assistance to Ukraine has proven ineffective “in fighting grand corruption” and establishing the rule of law.

The damning report, published on September 23 by the European Court of Auditors (ECA), stated that the 12.2 billion euros in various forms of assistance and loan guarantees provided to Ukraine since 2014 have “not delivered the expected results.”

Zelenskyy and associates feature in Pandora Papers, biggest leak of offshore documents
Offshore holdings raise ethical, tax evasion and money laundering questions

KYIV – Two Ukrainian corruption-fighting agencies are reviewing the asset declarations of the president and head of the country’s main counterintelligence agency, as well as the financial transactions of a bank related to them following the biggest leak ever of offshore financial records.

A trove of 12 million files from 14 corporate service providers who cater to clients in financial secrecy jurisdictions was leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which show that 38 Ukrainian politicians use the providers to conceal their wealth and assets.  The leak has been dubbed the Pandora Papers.

Demanding sanctions on NS2, Sen. Cruz stalls State Department appointments

KYIV – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) continued to block the approval of dozens of candidates for positions in the U.S. State Department in an effort to force the administration of President Joe Biden to reverse its decision to waive congressional mandated sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline.

Mr. Cruz said he is intent on defending the interests of Eastern European countries, including Ukraine.

Ukrainian anti-oligarch law inadvertently shines spotlight on Russian-linked members of presidential entourage

On September 22, someone fired shots at the car of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s first aide, Serhiy Shefir. The attack unfolded near the village of Lisnyky, outside Kyiv. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, more than 10 bullets hit Mr. Shefir’s vehicle, wounding the driver, but Mr. Shefir himself escaped injury (Ukrin­, September 22). Anton Geras­chenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian internal affairs minister, asserted that those who organized and executed the attack on Mr. Shefir’s car planned to kill everyone in the vehicle (, September 23).

Ukraine expanding space program, plans 2022 moon launch

Interest in privatizing space operations by Western companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic has now reached the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, which, for the moment, is focused on technological payloads rather than manned spaceflight. Unfortunately for advocates of Ukraine’s aerospace capabilities, on September 3, a Ukrainian-American rocket exploded two minutes into a test flight launch from Vandenberg Space Base in California (Channel 9, September 3).


Kyiv urged to evacuate passport holders

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on Ukraine’s government to evacuate Ukrainian passport holders from Afghanistan as soon as flights from Kabul resume. In a statement on October 5, the New York-based human rights watchdog noted that Kyiv rescued almost 250 Ukrainians, Afghans and citizens of other countries, some of whom have sought asylum in Ukraine, following the Taliban takeover of the country in August. However, it added that dozens of Ukrainian citizens, mostly Afghans with Ukrainian passports, and their relatives remain stranded in the capital.

Odesa mayor charged with corruption, in latest criminal case

KYIV – The mayor of Odesa has been charged with illegally acquiring several plots of land in Ukraine’s largest port city, the latest in a series of criminal cases opened against him.

Hennadiy Trukhanov has been a target for years of anti-corruption activists who say he and influential business allies have turned the Black Sea port into their own private fiefdom.

Congressional Ukraine Caucus issues statement on Naftogaz corporate governance

The following statement was released on October 5 by Congressional Ukraine Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), and Andy Harris (R-Md.).

The Congressional Ukraine Caucus is closely monitoring the open competition to fill the independent supervisory board seats at Naftogaz consistent with standards set by the international community.

UCEF changes name to Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation

CHICAGO. – In order to emphasize its mission, the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation has unanimously voted to operate under the name Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation.

“Since we were founded in 1997, our primary purpose has been to support the Ukrainian Catholic University. This change just highlights our mission,” said Taras Szmagala, Jr., the foundation’s board chair.

Global effort needed to curb enablers of offshore money laundering

Amid the third massive leak of offshore account records in the past six years, known as the Pandora Papers, this newspaper urges U.S. President Joe Biden to reinvigorate the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in line with his campaign promises.

Unlike the previous leaks, in 2016 and the following year, the Pandora Papers – a trove of records received by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – is twice as big in volume (nearly 3 terabytes of data from 14 offshore service providers) as the Panama Papers, which came from one law firm in the murky industry that shelters wealth.