Ukraine in 2021: back to the old-new normal


2021 will see Ukraine return to a variation on the pre-2019 norm: balancing between reform and vested interests. Persistent financing difficulties should produce enough pressure to see at least some reform progress.

One year ago, Ukraine seemed ready to embark on a path of sustainable growth, demolishing the oligarchic structures that have throttled the country’s development since independence. But the reform drive has dissipated. Oligarchic power struggles crept back, forcing the sacking of a technocratic government in March and the leadership of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in July, and in October, the Constitutional Court derailed much of the past years’ anti-corruption progress. Relations with the IMF soured, although a rapprochement began late last year.

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AUR’s success may last

Romania’s far-right AUR party rose meteorically to almost 10% at the general election in December. While low turnout was crucial to its success, AUR leveraged

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