The Rada passed a law yesterday equating digital ‘e-passports’ with conventional paper passports for use inside Ukraine.

Part of the government’s ‘state in a smartphone’ program, e-passports are displayed by the increasingly popular Diya app. The passports are issued with a unique electronic identifier, such as a QR code or bar code. “All e-passports can be used within Ukraine’s borders for their holders’ identification, confirmation of citizenship and provision of government and other services,” reported UNIAN. The law goes into effect August 23, 2021. So far, Ukraine’s e-passports are not accepted for foreign travel.

Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest

Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile operator, reports the most popular messenger services for its 25.9 million users are: Viber– 12 million; Facebook messenger – 11 million; Telegram – 6 million; and WhatsApp –  5 million. For social platforms, the ranking is: Facebook and YouTube – 13 million; Instagram – 10 million; Twitter – 7 million; and TikTok – 5.5 million. Average daily use is: TikTok – 88 minutes; YouTube – 54 minutes; Facebook – 44 minutes. Prime usage time is during

Kyivstar reports

Kyivstar reports a 30% yoy increase in subscribers using 4G Internet last year. At the end of the year, average consumption of data traffic per subscriber was 6.1 GB in the fourth quarter — 43% higher than one year earlier.

Declaring war on paper documents, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved

Declaring war on paper documents, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved 94 digital transformation projects to be added to the Diya app over the next three years. A sampling are: E-notary, E-property, E-urban planning, E-school, E-social protection, E-migration, E-hospital, E-permission and E-access. The programs will largely allow digital payment of fees and the transfer of digital files.

The EU is providing Ukraine with €20 million to help digital development

The EU is providing Ukraine with €20 million to help digital development, Minister Fedorov writes on Telegram. To be implemented with the help of Estonia’s e-Governance Academy and FIIAPP, Spain’s public administration aid agency, the project will focus on developing infrastructure for electronic government; modernization of public e-services and development of services on the Diya portal and in the Diya app.

Bucking the world recession, Ukraine’s IT exports increased by 20% yoy, to $5 billion

Bucking the world recession, Ukraine’s IT exports increased by 20% yoy, to $5 billion, according to new figures from the National Bank of Ukraine. IT now accounts for 8.3% of total exports, putting it in fourth place after food, metals, and migrant labor. In 2013, IT accounted for 1.3% of Ukraine’s exports. “Ukraine has earned a reputation in recent years as one of the world’s leading IT outsourcing destinations, but many feel it is time for the country to move

Of the 100 best IT outsourcing firms in the world, 11 are based in Ukraine

Of the 100 best IT outsourcing firms in the world, 11 are based in Ukraine, according to the 2021 Global Outsourcing 100 list, a ranking compiled annually by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. Designed to help companies find the right IT help, the list includes from Ukraine, in alphabetical order: Ciklum, Eleks, Infopulse, Innovecs, Intellias, Miratech, Nix, N-iX, Program-Ace and Sigma Software.

The share of women in Ukraine’s IT workforce has tripled over the last decade, hitting 22% today

The share of women in Ukraine’s IT workforce has tripled over the last decade, hitting 22% today, according to a study by GlobalLogic. Women now account for one third of all testers in Ukraine and 8% of developers, according to ITC.UA’s report on the study. Overall, employment in IT is growing by 15% a year.

Almost 40 Belarusian IT companies with a total of 2,000 employees have moved to Ukraine in the last six months

Almost 40 Belarusian IT companies with a total of 2,000 employees have moved to Ukraine in the last six months, Mykhailo Fedorov, minister for Digital Transformation, tells Interfax-Ukraine. The emigration south has been prompted by police violence following Alexander Lukashenko’s assumption of presidential powers after the presidential election of last August and by a nearly 50% hike in IT income taxes, to 13%, effective Jan. 1.

Ukraine is following the example of Dubai, Silicon Valley and Belarus of a decade ago by creating a low tax, low bureaucracy regime for IT companies

Ukraine is following the example of Dubai, Silicon Valley and Belarus of a decade ago by creating a low tax, low bureaucracy regime for IT companies, Fedorov told Interfax last week. In coming days, the Rada is to vote on “Diya City” an special regime for IT companies that will feature 5% income taxes and a modern labor code. “Action City is essentially a virtual zone, a kind of register,” Fedorov said. By legalizing operations, he said “companies can go

About 10% of Ukraine’s population are now using ‘Diya 2.0,’ the updated version of the mobile digitized documents app that was launched only one year ago

About 10% of Ukraine’s population are now using ‘Diya 2.0,’ the updated version of the mobile digitized documents app that was launched only one year ago, Fedorov reports on his Telegram channel. With 220,000 users sharing digitized documents every day, the top three uses are: banking — Nova Pay, Monobank, and A-Bank; delivery services — Nova Poshta , Ukrposhta, and SAT; and money transfer — Miloan, Tengo, and MoneyVeo. The user breakdown is: Android — 66%; IOS – 31%; and

For the first time, Internet tops TV as the primary news sources for Ukrainians

For the first time, Internet tops TV as the primary news sources for Ukrainians, according to a new survey by Research & Branding Group. For news, the preferences are: Internet – 51%; TV – 44%; radio and print — 2%. For social media use, the rankings are: Facebook – 59%; YouTube – 43%; Instagram – 30%; Telegram – 17%; Twitter—6%; Odnoklassniki – 5%; and Vkontakte – 3%. Top messenger services are: Viber — 57%; Facebook Messenger — 37%; Telegram —

Online advertising grew by 7% last year, countering the overall stagnation of Ukraine’s advertising market

Online advertising grew by 7% last year, countering the overall stagnation of Ukraine’s advertising market, reports the Ukrainian Internet Association.  With millions of Ukrainians housebound and turning to e-commerce, online advertising grew to $490 million last year. Nearly half of the ad spending for social media and messenger platforms. The most dynamic segment was online ‘media advertising’ which grew by 41% yoy, to $240 million. The full report can be found here. Ukraine’s overall advertising market shrank by 1% last

“Our goal is for Ukraine to enter the top 20 digital countries of the world,” President Zelenskiy said

“Our goal is for Ukraine to enter the top 20 digital countries of the world,” President Zelenskiy said on presentation of the program. “To do this, we must provide every Ukrainian with high-speed Internet anywhere in our country.” Praising the first year of the Diya app, he said: “We are the first country in the world with digital passports and the fourth in Europe with a digital driver’s license. Digitization is the direct and best fight against corruption.”

Foreign purchases of Ukrainian government bonds are returning to their peak levels of late 2019

Foreign purchases of Ukrainian government bonds are returning to their peak levels of late 2019, reported Dragon Capital. Over the last month, foreign purchases totalled $526 million, “close to peak monthly inflows of $560-610m in September and December 2019,” Dragon wrote. “Recent appreciation pressure on the hryvnia (+1.4% w-o-w) is likely to support interest in local bonds. We expect yields on medium-term hryvnia debt to remain close to current levels in the coming months unless an upsurge in foreign demand

State-owned PrivatBank was the most profitable bank in Ukraine last year

State-owned PrivatBank was the most profitable bank in Ukraine last year, recording $910 million in net profit. The next four most profitable banks were: Raiffeisen Bank Aval – $145 million; state-owned Oschadbank – $101 million; FUIB – $94 million; and OTP Bank – $62 million. The biggest loss was recorded by state-owned Ukreximbank — $200 million.

The net profit of all Ukrainian banks amounted to $1.475 bln last year, or 29% less than 2019

The net profit of all Ukrainian banks amounted to $1.475 bln last year, or 29% less than 2019, reports the National Bank of Ukraine. Out of 73 banks operating in Ukraine last year, 65 were profitable, reported the Central Bank. The former owners of PrivatBank, billionaires Ihor Kolomoyskiy and Hennadiy Boholyubov, are undertaking court actions to return ownership of the bank. It was nationalized in December 2016 after auditors found a $5.5 billion hole in its accounts.

Kolomoyskiy and Boholyubov, who are both under investigation by the FBI for money laundering, are suing the US Government for attempting to seize their Texas commercial building worth $23 million

Kolomoyskiy and Boholyubov, who are both under investigation by the FBI for money laundering, are suing the US Government for attempting to seize their Texas commercial building worth $23 million, RFE/RL reported in a 1,000 word article from Washington. They say the US government’s actions violate the sovereignty of Ukraine. Last week, Optima Ventures, a U.S. real-estate holding company controlled by the pair, informed a Florida court that it will file for arbitration against the United States in the World

Millions of Ukrainians signed up in the first year of the government’s Diya mobile app for digital services.

Millions of Ukrainians signed up in the first year of the government’s Diya mobile app for digital services. As a result, the number of partner agencies and companies is expected to increase 10-fold this year, to 1,000, reported the Digital Transformation Ministry. Under the ‘State in the Smartphone’ program, users can store: a child’s birth certificate, a certificate of an internally displaced person, a digital tax number, digital internal and foreign passports, driver’s license, registration certificate and car insurance. Users

Concorde Capital’s Yuri Svirko writes

Concorde Capital’s Yuri Svirko writes: “While the EP resolution will have no immediate effect on the EU-Ukraine relations, including the visa-free travel regime or further trade liberalization, it is still an early warning signal for Kyiv.”

Many of the Euro Parliament recommendations coincide with

Many of the Euro Parliament recommendations coincide with “10 Steps for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery and Growth in 2021,” a charter released yesterday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

By the end of next month, Diya users will be able to change their registered places of residence, use electronic signatures, and interact with government for taxes

By the end of next month, Diya users will be able to change their registered places of residence, use electronic signatures, and interact with government for taxes, medical records and construction permitting. “In 2021, Ukraine will enter into what we term as ‘paperless mode,’” Mykhailo Fedorov, Digital Transformation Minister wrote in an Atlantic Council blog.  “In other words, if a service is not available online, this means it is not available offline.”

This year, five years after the Ukraine-EU free trade agreement went into force, both sides “are ready to start the review of trade liberalization for goods

This year, five years after the Ukraine-EU free trade agreement went into force, both sides “are ready to start the review of trade liberalization for goods,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s Vice President for Economy, said on Wednesday at a press conference in Brussels with Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal. “This will be an important step towards further improving access to our respective markets,” Dombrovskis said. “We hope that this positive trend between Ukraine and the EU will also strengthen the

In a blunt resolution approved Wednesday by 526 European Parliament members – three quarters of the total

In a blunt resolution approved Wednesday by 526 European Parliament members – three quarters of the total – the Euro Parliament criticizes Ukraine for weak progress on cleaning up the courts, for putting political pressure on the Central bank, for slow progress on bringing power plants up to EU standards, for profiteering attempts during the coronavirus attempts and for making “no visible” progress “in the de-oligarchisation of the country.” On reports of “attempts to purchase medical equipment at a disproportionately

Ukraine’s

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, or NABU, is investigating corruption reports surrounding the vaccine, Maksym Hryschusk, acting head of the unit told reporters Wednesday. Separately, a civil society watchdog group, NABU Public Control Council, charged that talks were underway to buy China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine at $3 a dose, “however, subsequently, the Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov manually stopped this process and instructed to start negotiations on the purchase” at $17.85 a dose. Stepanov has said that different companies charge different

Before the Euro Parliament vote, Josep Borrell the Commission’s de facto foreign minister, warned:

Before the Euro Parliament vote, Josep Borrell the Commission’s de facto foreign minister, warned: “Despite notable progress, widespread corruption continues to hamper Ukraine’s reform process. Its key institutions must have strong and independent leadership and the chance to do their work free of political, economic or other interference.” The speech, delivered by Dombrovskis, concluded: “We urge all reform-oriented political factions to come together and give a clear signal of Ukraine’s determination to make its reform path irreversible.”

To speed up privatization of Ukraine’s 3,500 state companies

To speed up privatization of Ukraine’s 3,500 state companies, Mikheil Saakashvili’s Office of Simple Solutions and Results has sent to the Rada a package of bills that would deprive courts of the power to freeze sales, to give local communities 30% of sales proceeds, and to channel all other sales proceeds to improving state services. By creating these incentives, Saakashvili argues in a Kyiv Post opinion piece, Ukraine will find the will to cut the state companies which cost the

The EU and the WHO

The EU and the WHO said yesterday that they will spend €40 million over the next three years to help Ukraine and five other former Soviet republics to roll out vaccinations against Covid-19. WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge said progress is slow in the EU. Vaccinations are taking place in only 29 out of the 37 countries in the European region. He said: “Today, 7.8 million people have completed their immunization series. That is equivalent to only 1.5% of the

With snow forecast for all day today and into tomorrow, trucks are restricted from entering Kyiv City and from moving on many highways in Western Ukraine

With snow forecast for all day today and into tomorrow, trucks are restricted from entering Kyiv City and from moving on many highways in Western Ukraine. Ukravtodor is using almost 1,000 snow plows to keep roads open. Ukrzaliznytsia is clearing tracks with 27 locomotives equipped with snow plows. Without counting snow drifts, snow depths have ranged from 50 cm in Hrebinka, Poltava, to 35 cm in Kyiv, to 25 cm in Lviv.