New Podcast Episode, Featuring Andrii Borovyk and Gretta Fenner

A new episode of KickBack: The Global Anticorruption Podcast is now available.I know that I said in the post announcing the episode from a couple weeks back that that one would be the last post before our summer vacation, but I spoke too soon–last week I had the opportunity to speak with Andrii Borovyk, the Executive Director of Transparency International’s Ukraine chapter, and Gretta Fenner, the Managing Director of the Basel Institute on Governance, about addressing corruption risks inherent in emergency aid to Ukraine during the current conflict and the anticipated future infusion of funds to assist with post-war reconstruction. (Full disclosure: I am on the Board of Directors for Transparency International Ukraine, an unpaid position, and in that capacity I have worked with Andrii, though not directly on this issue.) After sharing their respective backgrounds in the field, Andrii and Gretta discuss how Russia’s aggression affected anticorruption advocacy work within Ukraine, and emphasize the importance for both domestic and international actors to strengthen institutions and mechanisms to prevent corruption in aid and reconstruction efforts. The conversation touches on, among other things, the challenges of pushing an anticorruption agenda in a time of national emergency, the role that aid conditionalities can play in promoting effective reform, and the importance of open, accessible, and centralized public information repositories. You can also find both this episode and an archive of prior episodes at the following locations: This really will be the last podcast episode before we go on summer break, but we will be releasing new episodes in September. The Global Anticorruption Blog is also going to go on summer hiatus during August, though I may post occasionally if something particularly important and time-sensitive comes up. As always, I’ll remind you that KickBack is a collaborative effort between GAB and the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN), encourage you to subscribe, and invite you to suggest for people or topics you’d like to hear on the podcast by sending me a message.

Transparency International Ukraine’s Call on International Companies to Stop Working in Russia

Transparency International’s Ukraine Chapter (on whose Board I serve) recently posted the following message on its social media accounts, which I am reposting here:

📢 We call for international companies to stop working in Russia and stop financing the war in Ukraine.
Economic sanctioning of Russia is already imposed by governments of the EU, US, Canada and other countries. However, fighting Putin’s aggression is not only the matter of national governments. International businesses have to make their contribution.
☝️ Every tax penny that international companies pay to the Russian budget costs Ukrainians lives. This money is being spent for weaponizing the Russian army, which attacks both Ukrainian military and civilians.
😢 Over four days 352 civilians were killed, over 1600 wounded. Russians hit apartment buildings, daycare facilities, buses with civilians and ambulances. Hundreds of thousands of people are forced out of their homes to stay alive.
Supporting the russian regime is unacceptable for companies that value human lives.
Facing financial risks connected with dismissal of the Russian market is nothing in comparison with reputational losses.
🙌 You can also tell businesses that you are against their work in Russia!
🔹 We prepared a list of well-known companies so you could address them publicly
We will update it
🔹 And with regard to some of the companies, we have explicitly explained how doing business in Russia affects the civilian population
🔹 Select the company that you would like to appeal to and tag it in posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For example,
@CompanyX, your taxes in #russia goes for the shelling of civilians in Ukraine. It’s time to stop doing business there, isn’t it?
Templates of the text for such posts you can find here:
The more people we are, the louder our voice is! Join us💪

“NGOs with Foreign Support”: A New Draft Law Threatens Ukraine’s Anticorruption NGOs

In May, Ukrainian Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky, a controversial member of the Servant of the People Party (Ukraine’s ruling party, headed by President Volodymyr Zelensky), registered a draft law that would label certain civil society organizations as “foreign agents.” More specifically, this legislation—which resembles Russia’s 2012 “foreign agent” law—would:

  • Oblige NGOs receiving at least 50% of their financial support from foreign entities to include the term “foreign support” in their organization’s name, and to include in any materials published by the NGO a disclaimer stating that the materials are published by an organization that functions with foreign support;
  • Initiate the creation of a central register of such NGOs, requiring the Ministry of Justice to publicize a list of these NGOs on its official website and to publish annual reports of foreign-funded NGO activity in Ukraine;
  • Require the management of these NGOs to undergo annual polygraph interviews in order to review whether or not these individuals have committed treason; and
  • Prohibit any individuals in NGO management positions from working in the civil service or holding membership on supervisory boards or in the leadership of state enterprises for five years after working in a foreign-funded NGO.

While Dubinsky’s proposed legislation poses a serious threat to all NGOs that receive foreign funding (except for a few categories that the draft law specifically exempts, such as NGOs that work in the sphere of culture, arts, science, prevention and health of citizens, social protection, social support for the disabled, and environmental protection), this legislation would have a particularly adverse impact on the work of anticorruption NGOs.

Continue reading