2014-08-08reuters.com

Corruption has plagued Ukraine since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But under Yanukovich, it grew far worse. The sheer scale of the graft -- involving tax evasion, fraudulent value-added tax claims, bribery and extortion -- helped set off the chain of events that has embroiled Ukraine in a separatist war.

A Reuters examination of the rampant tax and extortion rackets finds that the toll on the Ukrainian treasury was so great that the state was mortally weakened, leaving it at the mercy of outside powers.

...

Mikhailo Noniak, deputy minister for revenue and duties at Ukraine's tax agency, said of Danone's past problems: ... "at most firms they could find something that did not meet the legal requirements, and they would do the checks and they would either demand a fine, or open a criminal case, and then they would say, `We will not launch a case if you pay.'"

The last bit is somewhat hilarious -- isn't this how regulation (especially of financial companies) works in the US?



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