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Crime, Criminal Justice and Criminology in Post-Soviet Ukraine

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
122 pages
This report examines crime, criminal justice, and criminology in post-Soviet Ukraine.
The report contains an interpretive analysis of recent Ukrainian political history. It describes the emergence of independent Ukraine, its regional differences, the written and working Constitution, central political institutions, and current socioeconomic predicament. It examines patterns of crime and criminality since 1972, data on ordinary, economic, business, and organized crime, and reasons behind their growth and transformation in the last quarter century. It analyzes the past and present systems of criminal justice in Ukraine, focusing on policing, prosecution, and criminal procedure, and assesses the regime's response to crime. Finally, it outlines the main institutions and topics of criminological research in Ukraine today. The report is based on published literature in Russian and Ukrainian, and unpublished materials that include statistical reports, government studies, and interviews with scholars, judges, legal officials, procurators, and policemen. The report concludes that Ukraine's growth in crime during the past 12 years represents both a "catching up" with countries of the West and a response to social disorganization, increased social differentiation, and social strain. On the other hand, the criminalization of the economy, through the expansion of the shadow economy, the role of organized crime, and corruption of State officials, represents a more serious condition for the future of Ukrainian economy and politics. While the high rates of ordinary crime might well level off and even decrease should Ukraine develop a prosperous economy and effective government, the domination of the economy by the political-criminal nexus may be more difficult to reverse. Notes, tables

Date Published: August 1, 1999