Fight against Corruption in Ukraine: Public Opinion

  • The absolute majority of the population (83%) considers corruption counteraction in Ukraine unsuccessful, with 50% believing it to be a total failure. Nine per cent consider corruption counteraction successful, with only 1% considering it entirely successful. Compared with December 2017, the share of positive assessment has decreased by 6%, while the share of negative assessment has increased by 3%.
  • A significant part of the population (48%) cannot see a single institution which actively fights against corruption in Ukraine. The remaining population considers first of all media and journalists (26%) and anti-corruption CSOs (18%) to be active anti-corruption campaigners. They are followed by the NABU (11%), the population (10.5%), certain politicians, public leaders (10%), Western countries (6%). Only a marginal part of the population has voted for the public institutions which are actually supposed to fight against corruption: the SBU (5%), the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (5%), the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (4%), Prosecutor General’s Office (4%), the President (4%), the police (3%), the government, ministries (2%), the Verkhovna Rada (2%), local authorities (1.5%).
  • None of the agencies which are intended to fight against corruption has been positively assessed in terms of its effectiveness. The leader in terms of this is the NABU, however, still only 15% assess their activity positively; the effectiveness of the SBU has been positively assessed by 13% of the respondents, the National Police – 10%, Prosecutor General’s Office – 9%, Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the National Agency for Corruption Prevention – 6% each, courts – 4%. Courts are also the institution which got the most negative assessment (79%), followed by Prosecutor General’s Office (75%) and the National Police (74%). At the same time, numerous citizens were unable to assess the activity of these agencies (from 16% concerning the National Police to 34% concerning the National Agency for Corruption Prevention).
  • Among the factors which the citizens believe prevent the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine to do its job well there was, first of all, lack of political will to fight against corruption (44%); 33% mentioned legislative shortcomings, 21% – resistance of other law enforcement agencies, 23% – unreformed judiciary, 22% – corruption within the NABU, 21% – endorsement of corruption by the population of Ukraine. Only 19% believe that nothing prevents NABU from fighting against corruption.
  • The majority of people (53%) support the method of fighting corruption when an official is offered a bribe by a special agent, 27% spoke against it, and 20% were unable to make the choice. This result is practically the same as in December of 2017.

  • Citizens are mostly ready to entrust formation of the anti-corruption court to representatives of anti-corruption CSOs (47%) and Western experts (38%). Much fewer people are ready to assign it to MPs (13%), judges from judicial self-government agencies (9%), representatives of the President (5%). Compared to the end of 2017, the results have hardly changed, apart from the increase of trust for anti-corruption CSOs (from 41 to 47%).
  • Representatives of anti-corruption organizations and Western experts are more trusted when it comes to formation of the anti-corruption court by supporters of all political parties from all regions of Ukraine.
  • As for the question what the citizens are ready to do themselves to fight against corruption, the majority of the surveyed (73%) said they refuse to give bribes. The other options were chosen by much fewer people: 19% chose informing law enforcement agencies; 17% – reporting corruption to the media and in blogs and social networks; 16% are ready to report corruption in their institutions to bodies of authority. Thirteen per cent are not ready to do anything.
  • The real share of those who have done any of the aforementioned actions to fight against corruption turned out truly marginal, no higher than 2%. The only exception is the 53% of those who have not given bribes for the past year, which is still 20% less than those who claimed to be ready not to give bribes.
  • Most citizens (73%) consider the course of the judicial reform unsuccessful (with 43% considering it a complete failure); only 10% called the reform successful.
  • Negative opinions also prevail when it comes to achievements in clearing the judiciary from unscrupulous judges: 43% of the citizens see no progress in this situation; 30% believe there are only isolated successful cases.
  • When it comes to selecting judges, the population mostly trusts representatives of the public (41% of the surveyed), experts from Western countries (35%) and lawyers who have not worked as judges (32%). Those trusted the least are the President (5%), the Verkhovna Rada (5%) and the judicial self-government authorities (7%).

The nationwide survey of the population of Ukraine was carried out by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with Razumkov Center on 19-25 May 2018 in all regions of Ukraine except for Crimea and the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. 2019 respondents of ages 18 and above were surveyed. The theoretical error of the sample does not exceed 2.3%. 

The survey was funded as part of the project ENGAGE, financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented by Pact in Ukraine.

The data provided for reference is taken from the nationwide research carried out by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the sociology service of Razumkov Center on 15-19 December 2017.