But now it looks like Ukraine is about to open that book again. In the foreground, a lot of broken promises by the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the background, Russian President Vladimir Putin. How much of a role Trump operatives are playing in the picture is unclear.

Last week, Zelensky shook up his cabinet. He fired several ministers pursuing anti-corruption reforms and axed the prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, who had managed to win the respect of clean government activists in Kyiv.

Ryaboshapka was seen to be doing his level best to avoid pressure from Trump and his personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, to investigate Hunter Biden’s relationship with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where he held a lucrative position on the board.

Zelensky and his aides had also seemed reluctant to pursue such an agenda, which has a great deal more to do with partisan American politics than it does with rooting out Ukrainian corruption. But Zelensky said the fired ministers were underperforming.