Dean O'Brien's Blog

Ukraine – The more things change, the more they stay the same

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This has been a long time coming.  In a week which has seen Ukraine’s whole Police Force brought into question over crimes ranging from bribery to rape and murder, the worm has finally started to turn.

Only last year did we hear about the horrific murder of Oksana Makar who was raped, strangled, set alight and left to die by three men.   Of her three attackers, only one was charged due to the other two having ‘connections’.   The other two were however re-arrested after a public outcry.  Four local law-enforcement officials were also eventually sacked.  The fact that it took a ‘public outcry’ tells you everything about how things are run here.

A pattern however does seem to be emerging now.  When these things happen people are now taking to the streets in protest.  The ‘public outcry’ does seem to be working.  No longer do the people fear the establishment or rely on the local or national press hoping that the story reaches the masses.  The power of social media is giving them a voice and placing the power in their hands.  They themselves are getting this news out to the West who in turn are embarrassing the authorities into acting.

One things outsiders need to understand though is that bribery is the norm here.  From obtaining a university degree to receiving hospital treatment quicker than someone else in the queue, a financial bribe normally does the trick.  People have grown up knowing this ‘is’ the way to obtain things and thus progress in life.  Of course, in order for the people to change, those in positions of power must lead by example.  It needs to be addressed at a higher level with politicians, judges and the government.

However, I get the feeling that the more things change, the more they stay the same.



Written by Dean O'Brien

July 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Ukraine

One Response

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  1. Bribery and awful behavior by public officials will continue without “demonstrations” from the people and professional examples at the top of the regime!!!

    Joseph Korpsak

    July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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