Kolomoisky test case
It's not a good sign that billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky feels confident enough to return to Ukraine after two years in self-exile. Who's next? Exiled oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who continues to fight extradition to the United States from exile in Austria on corruption charges that he denies? Members of Viktor Yanukovych's gang that allegedly stole $40 billion during the ex-president's time in power from 2010–2014?
The first test for President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy will be to install a prosecutor general who can open a long overdue and much-needed criminal investigation into the alleged $5.6 billion bank fraud involving PrivatBank. By the time the state took over Ukraine's largest financial institution from Kolomoisky, taxpayers were stuck with the tab — part of the gigantic $20 billion bank fraud in the Yanukovych era.
We believe ex-National Bank of Ukraine governor Valeria Gontareva when she told the Kyiv Post in 2016 that "70 percent or 80 percent of cases are just simple fraud or money laundering. You do not need any high-quality forensic professionals. We’ve already documented all this fraud and money laundering."
The four obstructionists who have served as prosecutors general since the EuroMaidan Revolution ousted Yanukovych have protected the corruptionists, not prosecuted them.
All of this has to change — and now — with the firing of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and the replacement of him with credible crime fighters. Zelenskiy will be challenged on many fronts and he must rise to the occasion. Of all his priorities, seeking justice must be high on the list.