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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Angry Crowd Overturns Bribe-Seeking Cops’ Car

These people really rock! Watch footage of how a bribe-seeking highway patrol got their car rocked a little bit in Zakarpattya oblast.

Самосуд над гаишниками

Extorting money from zarobitchany (labor migrants) who work in neighboring EU countries and drive foreign-registered cars has become a profitable business for local law enforcement.

Some zarobitchany couldn’t take it anymore.

Police responded with indiscriminate beatings and arrested up to 30 people. Meanwhile, the people who did the car thing remain at large.

I hope this episode will serve as a wake-up call and will get the corrupt cops jailed. Otherwise, indiscriminate beatings of people may lead to indiscriminate beatings of cops.

Video embedded from:


elmer said...

Interesting - a big fat cop, with a huge sovok style cop cap, comes out and asks the reporter:

"if bribes were demanded, where are these people's criminal complaints?"

He implies that if someone files a criminal complaint against a cop who demanded a bribe, that it would be thoroughly and factually investigated.

What happens if you don't pay a bribe, and instead file a criminal complaint?

Also, one of the ladies mentioned that there was one car from Berkut - the Ukrainian Special Forces - that showed up in addition to the others that showed up to indisciminately beat people left and right - as the lady says, "without asking who they are or what they've done."

The official, naturally, says that there were no indiscriminate beatings, and that everything was carried out according to "norms" established for police work.

Some people have noted in the past that the cops demand bribes - a very widespread practie in Ukraine - because they don't get paid an adequate, living wage.

This, of course, could be taken care of by taxes, which people in Ukraine don't really pay for one reason or another.

And, of course, the bribes amount to a "direct tax."

An unlawful direct tax.

I still remember when Kuchma called the zarobitchany - "prostitutes."

The government creates the conditions that necessitate job-seeking in foreign countries in the first place - by grabitization of oligarchs, by abuse and misuse of government by people like Kuchma and his successors and cronies - and that includes Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, Yanukovych, Kolomoisky, Firtash, Hajduk, Boyko, Taruta, etc.

And so - we have the pretense of the rule of law in Ukraine.

самосуд - interesting term.

"self-rule," or "self-judging" or "taking the law into one's own hands" or "vigilante justice."

That's what the oligarchs have created, are continuing to foster.

And that includes Yanuk, Yushch and Tymo and even the commies.

One of the signs that was being displayed requested help from Interior Minister Lutsenko.

I wonder if he will do anything about this?

John Kalitka said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who shall watch the watchers? Someone should check under Officer Lutsyuk's (01:33) cap. He could be hiding something in there....

Taras said...


I wouldn’t call it самосуд (lynching). I’d rather call it попередження (warning). In France or in Greece, they’d probably skip the warning part and burn the whole police car fleet right away.

But then again, neither France nor Greece has as much corruption as we do. I think protests help keep corruption within certain limits.

Many people in Ukraine do actually pay taxes. It all depends on what people and what taxes we're talking about. As in any other country, police largely relies on taxpayer money. Corruption, which consists of low pay coupled with low accountability, makes that money irrelevant. Higher pay without higher accountability will not solve the problem.

Lutsenko? I wouldn’t expect much from him He’s become a staffer for the Tymoshenko campaign.


I agree. That police chief raises a classic “see no evil, hear no evil” defense. Non est factum. Non est mea culpa.

elmer said...

The police chief said that people could file a complaint.

What happens if you don't pay the bribe?

Taras said...

If you don’t pay the bribe, you pay the fine.

The problem is, zarobitchany drive used cars, not luxury cars, and don’t have a lot of money to throw around.

elmer said...

If you don't pay the bribe, do you go to jail?

Or is the non-bribe-paying person delayed in other ways?

How much is the fine, compared to the bribe?

How easy is it to file a complaint against the police for attempted bribery?

Is such a complaint simply thrown out the window, or is there a serious investigation?

Taras said...

If you don’t pay the bribe, you pay the fine. It’s logical to assume that the fine costs more than the bribe.

Naturalizing a foreign-registered car takes some time and costs a bundle. For labor migrants who work in the EU and, from time to time, drive back home to Ukraine in their used cars, it’s a major problem.

If their used cars overstay their legal welcome, they become prey for police extortionists. Obviously, some motorists have had enough of this law-based extortion.

You can file your complaint, but you still have to pay the fine. Besides, your complaint will most likely end up on the extortionist’s desk and will only make it worse for you.