Ukraine appoints 23-year-old to lead anti-corruption office

Source: es/bw (AP, AFP)

Posted: 23/11/2016



For the second time in a week, Ukrainian officials have been slammed for appointing inexperienced young women to top posts. The new head of Kyiv’s “lustration” office just graduated from university.


Ukraine’s justice minister was on the receiving end of hefty criticism on Wednesday following his appointment of a 23-year-old recent law school graduate to lead the government’s anti-corruption office. Minister Pavlo Petrenko insited that he has hired Anna Kalynchuk “on merit” to root out civil servants loyal to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

The anti-corruption and nepotism purges were one of the main demands of protests which eventually led to Yanukovych’s ouster in 2014. President Petro Poroshenko has repeatedly pledged to do so, though little real impact has been made.

Last month, Kalynchuk’s predecessor in the “lustration” (a term used in eastern Europe originally to describe removing former communist sympathizers from office), said he had identified around 1,000 such officials. The office also proclaimed that they had all been removed from their jobs and barred from public service until 2024.

An avid user of Instagram, Ukrainian media was forced to turn to Kalynchuk’s social media accounts for a portrait of the new official:


Interior minister appoints youngest deputy in history

Kalynchuk is in fact the second young woman with little experience nominated to an important government post in Ukraine in the past week. A few days before her appointment, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov named 24-year-old Anastasia Deyeva as his deputy, making her the youngest deputy minister in Ukrainian history.

Deyeva and Avakov recently came under fire for using taxpayer money to fund an extended business trip to Japan, as well as for nude photos of herself Deyeva once reportedly shared on social media. The interior minister defended his choice by saying Deyeva was a much-needed young voice in government, and that her appointment had been properly vetted by top officials. This claim was disputed by a presidential advisor.

“Ukrainian politics looks increasingly like a circus show in which clowns come to succeed frustrated professionals,” political analyst Vadim Karasyov told the Associated Press.

The choice of Deyeva was additionally curious because she will now be in charge of Ukraine’s integration with Europe, despite having previously worked for the pro-Russia political party of the deposed Yanukovych.