Blog post

Ukraine's deoligarchization process and the fight for the rule of law

By Maria Popova
July 2, 2021

On July 1, I took part in an event co-organized by Chatham House and the Bertelsmann Foundation on Ukraine's crony capitalism. Instead of my usual role as a commentator on Ukrainian judicial reform, I brought in a comparative perspective from Romania and Bulgaria's anticorruption campaigns. I cited evidence of Romania's successful tackling of oligarchic political corruption through the DNA and Bulgaria's facade campaign (numerous indictments, not a single conviction) wielded by a thoroughly politicized and fully unaccountable general prosecution. As we discussed whether Ukraine would take Romania's path or Bulgaria's, the Ukrainian parliament voted in first reading Pres Zelensky's deoligarchization bill purportedly aimed at identifying the country's oligarchs and limiting their access to the political system. You can watch the recording of the webinar here:

About me

Maria Popova (PhD, Harvard 2006) conducts research on the rule of law, judicial reform, political corruption, populist parties and legal repression of dissent across the post-Communist region. She teaches classes on European politics and research methods.

Contact me

Jean Monnet Chair EUROL
McGill University
855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, Quebec
H3A 2T7
maria.popova [at]
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