Three to four years following the Euromaidan protests and Russia’s incursions in Ukraine, Kiev is progressing slightly fiscally and economically, but the country remains poor and mired in corruption, and another backlash against the Ukrainian political elite is brewing. For Ukraine to significantly progress as a country, this political tide must usher in major economic reforms, rather than just ushering out a corrupt, oligarchic class.   Ukraine has made strides in its struggle to break free from Russian control. Since the ouster of the Yanukovych regime in 2014, Kiev has established a clearer western orientation, even as it remains at war with Moscow-backed militants in Ukraine’s east. Kiev has won major financial support from the International Monetary Fund and western governments, while reducing debt and deficits. Socially, Kiev has


  “Bulgaria’s ruling elite demands from business to be either corrupted or else face all the mobilized power of the state machine” Excerpt from an interview of former CCB majority owner Tzvetan Vassilev   Grand corruption is a key pillar of the governance model in Bulgaria over the last 25 years, lubricating the mechanisms of distribution of power and money, as well as defining winners and losers in the course of history. It is the elephant in the room we failed to notice until we run out of breathing space.   The magnitude of its impact is not measured only in cash – lost or missed – such as the 19 billion euros, that according to Rand Europe, have been inflicted as damage to the GDP of Bulgaria on a annual basis


Special to     The transition and the integration of Eastern Europe was so problematic that at some point it became inevitable for the West to decide to make a deal with „the real” politicians there – in other words with the communist elites. Let’s not forget that Europe’s engine – Germany – was out of this game, overwhelmed with its own reunification. The US was represented through the international financial institutions which chose to focus on the fiscal and debt issues and not so much on long-term strategy. Their preoccupation was the debt payment moratorium. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 itself, although a logical and planned process, was not preceded by too many years of building a stable alternative in Bulgaria – an opposition capable of