Trends in Organized Crime

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 100-142

First online:

Organized crime in Ukraine: Challenge and response

  • Phil Williams
  • , John Picarelli

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Organized crime in Ukraine has helped to derail the transition to a democratic polity and a free market economy, has generated considerable violence and corruption, and has contributed significantly to the development of a climate that does little to encourage foreign direct investment. Consequently this article explains why Ukraine, along with other states of the Former Soviet Union, developed a major organized crime problem during the 1990s. Having done this, it delineates some of the major contours of organized crime in Ukraine, identifying the major participants in organized crime, the variations in the phenomenon in different cities and regions, and the major activities of organized crime. The article also examines the kinds of initiatives that have been taken by the government of Ukraine in its efforts to combat organized crime, before suggesting some areas in which these efforts could be significantly improved.