Zelenskiy To Propose Legislation Equating Corruption With Treason During War

Zelenskiy To Propose Legislation Equating Corruption With Treason During War

27 Aug 2023 ( Radio Free Europe )

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says corruption can be equated with treason and he will ask parliament to increase penalties for people found guilty of corruption during wartime.

“I have set a task for the legislation and the Ukrainian legislators will be offered my proposals to equate corruption with high treason in wartime,” he said in a television interview shared on his Telegram channel on August 27.

“I think the parliament will get it in the next week and then the ball is in the parliament’s court,” he said, adding that he understands that it cannot work permanently, “but for wartime, I think it will help.”

Those found guilty must face justice, but “not a firing squad,” he said. “This is not Stalinism. If there is evidence, the person must be behind bars.”

Zelenskiy said he did not know whether lawmakers would support the proposal, but he intends to go ahead with it anyway because Ukraine is developing a democratic society and needs systems meant to stop corruption.

Earlier this month Zelenskiy made a move against corruption with the dismissal of all the heads of Ukraine’s regional military recruitment centers.

Zelenskiy said on August 11 that a review of the recruitment centers had revealed signs of professional abuse, ranging from illegal enrichment to transporting draft-eligible men across the border despite a wartime ban.

“This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery during war is treason,” he said in a statement.

Ukraine ranks 116th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index. Its ranking moved up just one notch from 2021.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk also commented on August 27 on the fight against corruption in Ukraine.

External and internal factors meant the state’s survival is beginning to depend on Ukraine’s ability to “really destroy the corrupt as a social group,” she said on Telegram.

“We are fast approaching the point where it will be us or them.”