This part probably deserves its own post so I'll repeat it here and add a personal anecdote

Ukrainian Corruption -- A Case Study

>The contrast with Ukraine could not be more stark. International flights tend to go around Ukraine as it's easy to see on FlightRadar24.com (https://www.flightradar24.com/41.69,35.71/4). The domestic air travel situation is far behind the rest of Europe, thanks in part to Ukrainain oligarchs who have resisted competition from low-cost carriers. So, poor Ukrainians still find European travel out of reach despite the new no-visa regime. The company SkyUp is attempting to overcome the legendary corruption in Ukraine with a new discount airline but is battling fierce opposition. Read the details here (https://skyup.aero/en/underattack). They have been introducing flights in all major Ukrainian cities except third largest Dnipro, the stronghold of oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who owns the airport in that city as well as being a majority owner of Ukraine International Airlines.

Almost 15 years ago, I was traveling in Europe and met a German businessman on his way to Dneproptrovsk (now Dnipro). He told me a story passed on to him by a business partner acquainted with Lufthansa. The airline had just begun operating in Dnepropetrovsk, which is not easy to do (see above). As part of the deal they contributed a de-icing machine to the airport which could be used by Ukrainian carriers as well as Lufthansa. But then they were demanded to "contribute" an additional $1 million. They refused. At the time there was a Lufthansa plane on the ground in Dnepropetrovsk and it was refused permission to depart until the "contribution" was paid. The captain and crew went to the airport in the middle of the night, snuck aboard the plane and took off without lights, never looking back. The word got around the German business world (along with other similar stories) and since then Germany has avoided doing business in general with Ukraine. I don't know how true this story is, but it realistically depicts the the plight of Ukraine.