Ukraine Beyond the Impeachment Headlines
Ukraine’s image is suffering from negative coverage surrounding the impeachment hearings of US President Donald Trump. Yet, while the country remains poor and corruption is rife, voters have overwhelmingly backed far-reaching political and economic change, and a new generation of leadership is committed to delivering it.
CHICAGO – If there is one thing that American politicians on both sides of the aisle agree on about the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, it is that Ukraine is a corrupt country. But it would be unfortunate if what the public learns about Ukraine during this process is that it is an irredeemably lawless, poor, and desperate country, rather than one undergoing a sweeping transformation.
To be sure, Ukraine is still poor and, at times, desperate. But its citizens voted twice last year unequivocally against the corruption and incompetency that have epitomized the political class since the country’s independence in 1991.
In April 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian, entrepreneur, and political novice, was elected president with the support of 73% of voters. Then, in July, they gave Zelensky’s newly created party, Servant of the People (named after his hit TV series, Sluha Narodu), a parliamentary majority – making him the first Ukrainian leader in decades to control both the executive and legislative branches of government.