The freeing of the Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko, who was abducted from the territory of Ukraine in 2014 and was illegally detained under the court and investigations in Russia for nearly two years, had international resonance. There are at least two dimensions of the significance of this event: international, first and foremost in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Minsk agreements and relations of Russia with the West, as well as internal relations regarding the potential emergence of such a figure as Savchenko in Ukrainian political life.

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Two years after Petro Poroshenko became the President of Ukraine, experts gave an assessment of his achievements and failures during the press-conference „Two years of Poroshenko’s Presidency“. This assessment was based on the interviews of 57 experts, conducted by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.

According to Freedom House, Ukraine fell into the category of countries with “transitional government/ hybrid regime”. Also Georgia, Moldova, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania fall into this category. Thus, Ukraine has improved its ranking of democracy from 4.75 points in 2014 to 4.68 points in 2016 (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being the most democratic, and 7 the least).

Ukraine outperforms the average of post-Soviet and some Central European countries on several indicators — active civil society, free electoral process, and independent media. At the same time, Ukraine falls far short of the performance of EU member states because of the level of corruption, the independence judiciary and effective government.

Despite some progress in Ukraine’s political system democratisation after the Revolution of Dignity, the development of the party system is under threat as a result of the disproportionate concentration of power in the hands of party leaders. This policy brief analyses the dangerous initiatives of political leadership representatives and provides recommendations for leveling their negative consequences.

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On May 13 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appointed head of the factions of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) Yuriy Lutsenko the new Prosecutor General (PG), whose candidacy the president submitted that same day. This appointment was preceded by the approval of amendments to the law “On the Prosecutor General’s Office”, which allowed an individual without legal education and experience working in prosecution bodies to be appointed the PG. Besides that, the law eased the requirements of candidates for other prosecutors’ position, envisaged the creation of a General Inspection Bureau that will investigate the activity of prosecutors, expanded the sphere of application of pre-trial investigation and judicial examination in absentia and also postponed for a year the increase in the powers of bodies of prosecutors’ self- governance.

Yesterday was an extraordinary day in the Parliament, to put it mildly. Thursday was full of surprising developments – blocking of the rostrum, constant cries of “Shame!”, clashes between the members of President’s faction and the opposition, the appointment of a new Prosecutor General after the adoption of the law made “for one person” and its immediate publication in the “Voice of Ukraine”.

Despite the protests of the majority of the parliamentary factions and numerous talks about another collusion between oligarches and the cooperation of President’s “Block of Petro Poroshenko” with the politicians from the era of Viktor Yanukovich, the fact that Yuriy Lutsenko was appointed as a Prosecutor General of Ukraine, is the reality of today’s Ukraine.

Ukraine’s unreformed judiciary is often blamed for slowing down the changes in a new police system. It is partly true. However, one shouldn’t blame judiciary for all the state’s problems. Because of a loophole in the law judges simply have no other choice but re-hire former police officers.

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The constitutional reform is underway in Ukraine, involving constitutional amendments in 3 areas: human rights, decentralization and reform of the judiciary.

1. Human rights

At present, public debates continue on drafting the mechanism of implementing the laws on constitutional amendments. Constitutional reform in the area of human rights, freedoms and duties follows a transparent process and adequately engages the public in the constitution-building process.

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The new issue of the Razumkov Centre Newsletter contains articles and interviews of our experts on the most important issues of Ukraine’s life in the areas of national security and defence, economy, energy, internal, external and social policy.

In the issue: “Accepting DNR and LNR as Part of Ukraine is Equal to Drinking Poison”; “An Exported Jihad from Russia and Terrorist Attacks in Brussels”; “The Lower the Index of Social Inequality in a Country, the Happier are Its People” and other articles.

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The appointment of Volodymyr Hroisman as a prime minister will allow to avoid a parliamentary election for at least several months. This was said by Leading Expert of Political and Legal Programmes of the Razumkov Centre Viktor Zamiatin in his comment to the website Ostrov.

“At least for some time, Volodymyr Hroisman will be loyal to the president because he represents his political party. We should also bear in mind that his appointment was suggested by the president. On the other hand, he is young and ambitious so, sooner or later, this framework will become too small for him. Furthermore, there are many nuances in the government’s work that will hardly match the vision of the president or his circle,” says the expert.