How to earn and to do nothing – let’s become activists!

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If you want to earn a decent amount of money, for example 600 thousand hryvnias in a year, then it makes sense to become a public activist. Apparently, someone still thinks that a public activist is a kind of an altruist who works very hard, without looking for profit or popularity, but only for the common good. But, unfortunately, today the meaning of such a concept as a public activist has almost completely lost its primary significance. The current activists who a few years ago created public non-profit organizations to fight against corruption in state institutions (at least it was planned that way) such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), earn a fair amount of money, although instead of combating corruption the society observes only scandals, which constantly arise around one or another anticorruption activist.

Below is the infographics that shows the profits of the main fighters against corruption in NABU. As it is evident from the schedule, the members of the Civil Oversight Council at NABU (we recall that the Civil Oversight Council at NABU is a public non-profit organization) earned quite a lot over the past year (2016). For example, a member of the Civil Oversight Council, Halyna Yanchenko, earned 625 897 UAH for 2016. It seems to be very good earnings for a person who fights against corruption on a voluntary basis. Although, perhaps, this lady earns such a significant money for her consultancy, because she is an Individual Entrepreneur (FOP). Another member of the Civil Oversight Council, Yevhen Anatoliyovych Hrushovets, earned somewhat less than 560 thousand hryvnias last year. He might have earned such money, as Mr. Hrushovets is a lawyer in Boiarka, which is a very profitable business judging by the income.

Photo: How much money the members of the Civil Oversight Council at NABU earned in 2016

Although some of the members of the Civil Oversight Council earn very, very well, from the infographics it is also seen that the income of some fighters against corruption is more like social assistance. For example, Artem Oleksandrovych Lahutenko is a journalist and, as it is written in the income declaration, “a candidate for the position of a person authorized to perform functions of the state or local self-government”, – he earned only 15 000 hryvnias. I wonder what money this great gentleman lives off, as he earned less than a regular pensioner over the year? I do not want to think about anything bad, but the earnings of another member of the Civil Oversight Council, Vitaliy Mykolayovych Ustymenko, amounted to only 2 064 hryvnias. But, according to his income declaration, in 2016 Mr. Ustymenko served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where he worked as an electrician and a motor mechanic of the unit of staff machines of the communications platoon of the communications center of the command post of the field telecommunications facility. It seems that something is wrong here – whether Mr. Ustymenko does not know what salary he has, or he cannot fill out the declaration.

Honestly, this infographics of the income of the members of the Civil Oversight Council at NABU raises a lot of questions. In addition, their expertise is no less a question, as it is known that one of the members of the Civil Oversight Council is unemployed, the other is a student, and only seven members of the Civil Oversight Council have at least some knowledge in the legal field, while only four of them are lawyers. Apparently, it also makes sense to recall that ten of the fifteen members of the Council are Individual Entrepreneurs.

Some questions arise regarding these public activists who must combat corruption in NABU. But will there be any answers

First of all, it is very interesting how these people can find their way through the maze of the work of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, if most of them do not have professional knowledge. And one more thing – what kind of fight against corruption by these persons can be, even if the voting for the composition to the Civil Oversight Council at NABU was rather nontransparent – even a lawsuit was filed to the District Administrative Court of Kyiv demanding to recognize the illegal actions of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention and to cancel the results of the Internet voting for the membership of the Civil Oversight Council at NABU, which took place on May 31. You can read about this following the link The General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) investigated an illegal competition in NABU and falsifications. Details of this case can be found in the articles on the link

Does anyone still have doubts as to whether it is profitable to be a public activist? Or maybe anyone still thinks that a fighter against corruption is a man of high integrity and a zealous idealist? Then where did all these scandals and litigation come from? Although, if we recall about 600 000 UAH a year… Fighting against corruption on a voluntary basis is a very profitable occupation. There is no question about it.

Anastasiya Mykhalchenko


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