By the end of this month, more than 500 Ukrainian prosecutors will be out of their jobs as part of sweeping professional reviews under Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among the prosecutors heading for the exit: a key Kyiv contact for Rudolph W. Giuliani.
The prosecutor purge is just one of several corruption-busting efforts set in motion by Zelensky. But it puts into sharp relief Zelensky’s twin challenges — trying to balance his clean-government promises at home with his needs to keep President Trump from turning against him.
Zelensky’s bind is not hard to spot.
Trump’s views of Ukraine — and his demands to investigate the Biden family — were largely shaped by Giuliani, his personal lawyer. The theories and opinions that were passed to Giuliani came from some of the very officials whom Ukrainian activists claim are prime corruption culprits in their own system.
Now that Zelensky’s reform push is underway, some of those Giuliani-linked officials are in the crosshairs.
A prosecutor named Kostiantyn H. Kulyk is one of the first.
Zelensky’s new prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka — “100 percent my person,” Zelensky told Trump in July — last week gave a dismissal notice to Kulyk, a key player in the effort to provide Giuliani with political ammunition of dubious accuracy. Kulyk denies meeting Giuliani, but former associates say he prepared a seven-page dossier that his boss later passed along to the former New York mayor. Kulyk did not respond to a request for comment.
Kulyk was fired after failing to turn up for an examination that was part of a review process that will assess prosecutors across Ukraine.
At least 569 other prosecutors also have failed to meet the standards of the review and will be off the payroll by Dec. 31, the prosecutor general’s office said. [Continue reading…]