Who Causes Corruption in Ukraine?

I was reading a very good and powerful post about the tragedy of a Ukrainian woman who was brutally raped and then set on fire by the rapists. I can’t write about this situation myself because it traumatizes me too much, so make sure you read the post here.

One thing, however, that I need to address is the following statement:

It is understandable that average Ukrainians have felt almost helpless in changing the prevalence of corruption in their own country but this incident proves that a horrific situation has the power to embolden the media and everyday citizens to demand change.

This sounds as if the people of Ukraine had a group of aliens from another galaxy spreading this corruption in the country. I also find it hard to  comprehend who this change-granting authority is supposed to be from which Ukrainians will demand lesser corruption.

The people of Ukraine (and Russia) are very corrupt. As a Ukrainian, I find this very shameful. But that’s the truth. On every single occasion when I mentioned to people from my country that one could live one’s life without giving or soliciting bribes, the reaction was that of outrage and fury. Of course, people get annoyed when corruption works to their detriment. This does not, however, prevent them from using it for their own benefit as often as they can.

Until the idea that people who pay taxes honestly, don’t cheat on exams, don’t bribe officials, don’t solicit bribes, don’t lie and cheat are not idiots but simply good, honest citizens becomes widely accepted among my fellow Ukrainians, corruption in Ukraine will remain as wide-spread as ever. Ukrainians complain about corruption a lot but it never occurs to them that eradicating corruption should start with one’s own efforts to live one’s life honestly.

7 thoughts on “Who Causes Corruption in Ukraine?”

  1. In a way, I understand even though I’m not from Ukraine. I’m from New Jersey and we have a culture of corruption but perhaps on a lesser scale. Many of our politicians are crooks and the previous mayor of our largest city Newark was arrested for both soliciting bribes and using the money on his mistress, I have to say nobody was surprised at that. Our mayor has been running this town since I was a baby and when my parents got married, so he’s been mayor for a long-ass time 😀 He’s also the school superintendent so he gets two salaries and no one seems to think this is weird at all. I’ve also known people who scam welfare and other programs who justify it by saying that the government is too stupid to check to where the money goes and it’s corrupt anyway so we should make some money while the getting is good, so to speak. Maybe it’s a Jersey thing *shrugs*

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  2. I hope the Ukrainian police is at least more sensitive than India’s (especially the capital New Delhi’s) when it comes to filing rape complaints. A recent media expose
    reveals shockingly misogynistic views among the police of that city. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/in-and-around-delhi-cops-blame-rapes-on-women-tehelka-investigation-with-ndtv-194735 This is not a huge surprise for people familiar with Delhi – it sees some of the highest incidence of rape in the world.

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  3. The problem is that humans everywhere are corrupt in general, minus a few small countries with relatively homogenous populations, and even then, there is corruption. That is why we have to have government designed the way it is with checks and balances, and proper economic institutions and regulations. Free-market capitalism and liberal democracy, combined together, create the system that functions the least badly. Russia and Ukraine, unfortunately, lack such government and economic institutions for the time being. One problem with Russia I have read for example is that the legal system is so messed up there that it’s impossible to avoid violating the law because to obey one law means breaking another oftentimes.

    It’s the same problem with Mexico. Mexico is full of corruption right now because of the lack of proper institutions.

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    1. “One problem with Russia I have read for example is that the legal system is so messed up there that it’s impossible to avoid violating the law because to obey one law means breaking another oftentimes”

      – These are all excuses. People are simply spoiled by the Communist era and don’t want to work honestly. And the institutions are lacking because people themselves have no interest in creating anything better.

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    1. The only people who suggest that Ukrainians somehow suffer from their corruption are North Americans. I think this is not the case of a mirror as much as it is a cultural difference.

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