April 19. 2024. 9:19

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"War on two fronts": A British journalist tells what is happening inside Ukraine at war

While the Ukrainian people are bravely fighting against the Russian occupation, Ukraine’s state apparatus is still plagued by corruption, British journalist and Ukraine expert Tim White says in his new film — writes Gary Cartwright.

On Monday, February 13, Brussels hosted a presentation of the documentary by British investigative journalist Tim White "Ukraine: a war on two fronts. Fighting corruption and the enemy". The film tells about the internal problems faced by the country, which has been resisting unprovoked full-scale Russian aggression for almost a year. In particular, it deals with corruption and cases of pressure on businesses by law enforcement agencies.

"We have analysed a number of cases that took place after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion. Each of them has questions for the authorities. Law enforcement agencies either do nothing, turning a blind eye to the so-called "raiding" or lawlessness of oligarchs, or there is reason to believe that they themselves deliberately put pressure on entrepreneurs or independent politicians," said Tim White during the presentation of his film at the Press Club Brussels Europe.

Tim White drew attention to the situation with Vladyslav Atroshenko, the mayor of frontline Chernihiv. A court in Lviv found Atroshenko guilty of a conflict of interest. His "crime" was the transportation used by his family when they tried to escape the war zone in the first days of the invasion. He claims that the authorities exerted pressure on the court. Former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, now the mayor of Kyiv, was among those who pledged support for Atroshenko, saying that Ukraine "should not roll back the democratic achievements it has worked so long and hard to achieve."

"...what is happening now around the mayor of Chernihiv, Vladyslav Atroshenko, looks like selective justice and political history. The removal of the mayor from office through the court for an administrative violation is a precedent," said Vitali Klitschko.

Tim White also visited places where fierce fighting was taking place just a few months ago: in the destroyed Borodyanka near Kyiv and near the Russian-Ukrainian border in the Sumy region. He also talked to entrepreneurs in frontline cities and in the capital Kyiv who complained about hindrances to their business from the security forces. In particular, these are the Aurum Group company, against which the Security Service of Ukraine has opened criminal proceedings, and the Saturn company, which faced an attempted raider seizure. Tim White was impressed by the price the Ukrainian people are paying for their freedom. At the same time, he was surprised that the Ukrainian government is not doing enough to make life easier for business.

"President Zelensky has achieved fantastic results in stopping Russia and uniting the West in helping Ukraine. However, it seems that he and his team do not understand how important transparency and a competitive business environment are for Ukraine today. After all, the country will not be able to be a constant donor of Western financial aid. Economic recovery is impossible without transparent rules of the game," Tim White emphasises.


Bio: Tim White is a British journalist specialising in Ukraine and exposing Russian propaganda and hybrid influences. He is the author of the investigative films "Nothing but lies: Fighting fake news" (2017), "One World Cup, One War, How Much Corruption" (2018), "Russia returns to Ukraine" (2021-2022).

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