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.