This is a recurring disinformation narrative by pro-Kremlin media, claiming that the West is controlling Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy, its economy and virtually all other spheres of life. Since the overthrow of the manifestly pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Ukraine has been trying to get rid of Russian influence. Western institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank provide Kyiv with financial aid and consultancy.
Corruption still permeates many facets of life in Ukraine. It is essential to overcome it in order to achieve stability and raise living standards. Financial tycoons known in Ukraine as oligarchs often stand in the way, sometimes defending their own financial interests and unwilling to lose clout.
The claim is made in the context in which Ihor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs, has recently come under criticism from the United States. The US State Department imposed sanctions on him on 5 March 2021 for “significant corruption”. The businessman is now in Ukraine and his assets abroad are likely to be impacted. Ukraine’s Constitution forbids the extradition of its nationals, but Kolomoisky has several passports and there is theoretical speculation that he could be treated as a foreign citizen.
Read more pro-Kremlin propaganda claims about Ukraine’s alleged loss of statehood and turning into a colony.