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Friday, June 20, 2008

Bicyclist Killed by Car; Evidence Sanitized; Driver Regrets Car Damage

Mr. President, Mr. Lutsenko, do you remember your “one law for all” promise?

How would you like it if someone dear to you died like this? Would the system work for you the way it worked for him?

Voiceover: Here’s the scene of tragedy of two friends who took a night trip by bicycle, moving toward Herzen Street. The road was allegedly unoccupied and both bicycles had their lights on. The friend of the victim survived only because he rode his bicycle in front.

Survivor: There was a heavy blow in the back.
Reporter: You were riding by the roadside, right?
Survivor: Yes, I was in the front, he was in the back, in the back. The car…it was this one…

Text: Oleksiy Bashkirtsev was 22. He was hit to death.

Male eyewitness 1: I saw it. It’s very scary. The bicyclists rode on Melnykov St. They didn’t cross anything, they rode on the curb. And this car drove at a speed of probably up to 180 km/h, and it hit them directly. Of this I’m 100% sure. We saw it.

Reporter: Did they have their lights on?
Male eyewitness 1: Yes, they had their lights on and they rode well, without speeding, nothing like that. He just hit them directly.

Text: In the first decade of June, four bicyclists have been hit. In three cases, the drivers fled from the crime scene.

Male voice: How could this man, this bicyclist…
Male eyewitness 2: The bicyclists rode…

Female eyewitness: He exited the vehicle through the window. What are you talking about? He didn’t use the door, he used the window. What are you talking about? You call him sober?

Driver’s companion: Listen, listen…
Female eyewitness: Listen to what?

Driver’s companion: Look at this door. How can anyone exit it, blyad? Why all this talk?
Female eyewitness: Listen to what? He crawled out of the window. What are you talking about? Look at him. He’s totally drunk!

Text: The driver is Khomutovsky Stanislav Olehovych, b. 1988. Managed to avoid compulsory blood testing for alcohol. Evidence is being sanitized from the case file.

Driver: I didn’t hurt anything, blyad. My poor car!

Text: The murderers are on the loose. It’s time to hit the authorities.
Photo of the victim carrying an animal rights sign: “I want to live.”

Video uploaded from:


Vasyl Pawlowsky said...

This is one reason I don't ride a bike here. The drivers are insane, and they are never held accountable for their actions! Time to start locking these guys up Lutsenko!

Anonymous said...

you probably mean "square on" not "fair and square." "Fair and square" means that the car had the right to hit the cyclist.

Taras said...

Vasyl, your decision makes perfect sense to me.

Riding a bike in a place where people who drive luxury cars kill with impunity can be very dangerous.

Unfortunately, I don’t see Lutsenko doing much work in holding those people responsible.

Thank you for your suggestion, Elmer!

I think I got lost in my hasty translation. I focused on the second meaning, ignoring the first one.

fair and square
1. in an honest way and without any doubt. We won the match fair and square.
(British & Australian)
2. if you hit someone fair and square on a particular part of their body, you hit them hard exactly on that part. She hit me fair and square on the nose.

To avoid further misunderstanding, I’ve now changed “fair and square” to “directly.”

In Ukraine, the law offers extremely lenient penalties for murder and manslaughter. Plus, money and connections stand above the law.

In summer 2006, a 21-year old driving a $40K Mitsubishi on Khreshchatyk hit two girls — age 14 and 16, killing one — and sped away until they caught him. No idea if they put him behind bars.

Last year, Firtash’s stepson, Serhiy Kalynovsky, 23, killed two people: his girlfriend and another driver, father of two small kids. He then escaped from custody and remains at large.

In January, an 18-year-old law student driving a Toyota Prado, DUI, killed one person, wounding two others. It turns out, the killer’s father runs the local Party of Pensioners.

In Kharkiv, a local noveau riche plowed into a crowd, DUI, killing 6 people, including a 32-year-old mother, her son and daughter, age 9 and 5. He’ll probably get less than a year for every person he killed.

Here’s another road report, from Zhytomyr, h/t to a friend of mine.

Summary. A Skoda hits two students, inflicting heavy injuries. The driver — DUI — is a major of local police.

More police arrive on the scene, armed to the teeth, along with an ambulance crew that, some believe, pumps the driver with special drugs to reduce his alcohol intoxication.

Amid growing tensions, the media arrives, escorting the driver to a detox. The driver issues threats. His breathalyzer test shows a reduced alcohol level while his blood and urine tests show an alcohol level three times above the norm.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was not I who made the suggestion about "square on."

But to the point - this kind of thing is appalling.

Is there no mechanism of accountability?

"One law for all" - indeed.

How long will people put up with this?

Apparently, in Ukraine, when you buy an expensive car and/or are connected to party officials, you get a license to kill pedestrians.

That seems to be something left-over from sovok days that needs to be eliminated.

Vasyl Pawlowsky said...

Last night a journalist friend brought in some back issues of Tyzhden to a local I frequent. The cover story is entitled Mazhory-Vbyvtsi: Vodii "zi statusom" poluiut na prostykh smertnyk. In one of the side bars of that article there is a price list of what it costs to bribe officials at different levels in traffic accidents.

The price list is as follows:

With the traffic cops
In order to change the data in the report in favor of the guilty party from $300

In order that "no one saw anything" starting at $1000

From militia and procurator's office

To prolong the investigation starting at $3000
To move the case to fall under a less punishable offense. Starting at $5000
The refusal of pressing criminal charges, $10,000

Medical experts

A report saying that the person was not DUI or under the influence of narcotics. Starting at $500
A report stating that someone was injured in a road accident. Starting at $1000
A report which states that the injured in a road accident actually was injured less than the fact. Starting $3000

In the Courts

A court statement that the responsible individual did not leave the scene of the crime, or demanding further investigation. Starting at $5000
Changing the verdict to a lesser crime. Starting at $10,000
Minimal incarceration period or changes to the punishment received. Starting at $20,000
A judgment stating that the case was carried out in contradiction of the law. Starting at $100,000


Refusal to cooperate with the investigation or appearing in court. Starting at $1,000
Agreement of providing false information in favour of the guilty party in an accident. Starting at $3,000
The work of a false witness. Starting at $5,000

Penal system administration

Comfortable accommodations. Starting at $5,000
Petitioning of having the guilty party to be included amongst prisoners who will receive amnesty. Starting at $10,000

So there you have it... As Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) in the Magic Christian could by off anyone, so can the bastards who have cash in Ukraine.

Taras said...

I must have assumed it was you, Elmer.

Accountability can only come from action. Unless we take to the streets, the untouchable monsters that roam our streets will claim more lives.

Here’s a roundup of the recent bicyclist killings.

Thank you for sharing that price list, Vasyl!

We have a driving culture that drives our lottery with death, and a legal system that favors the "law of large numbers."

Here’s an accounting of road killings by mazhory, a caste of wealthy individuals who value no life but their own and can always buy themselves out.

Anonymous said...

I read the story from Zhitomir, about the policeman (rank of major, for crying out loud), driving drunk and hitting 2 students.

I wondered:

1) why was it necessary for Berkut, the special paramilitary forces, to be there, armed to the teeth? (There was indeed a large crowd).

2) Why was the driver taken in an AMBULANCE? Normal procedure would be to arrest a drunk driver, and take the driver in a police car to be booked and charged with a crime.

Now I understand why there was such a large crowd - my guess is that people are really, really sick and tired of:

- being sitting targets and sacrificial victims of a special wealthy class of citizens, who feel privileged to kill anyone at any time, and who feel inconvenienced if they get questioned for killing someone

- 2 sets of laws, one for the wealthy and connected, and one for the rest of the poor slobs in the country.

Price lists? That is OUTRAGEOUS!

Yushchenko talks about corruption - but does nothing about it, except kiss up to Akhmetov.

The "rule of law" in Ukraine seems to be - what can we, the politicians, do to make life even more comfortable for Akhmetov and a few other oligarchs?

Yushchenko talks about a free and independent Ukraine.

How does he expect that to happen, if Ukrainian citizens are simply road kill for wealthy individuals, if Ukrainian citizens have no rights, if Ukrainian citizens are, in effect, slaves to oligarchs, if Ukrainian citizens have to wait for the next election to sell their votes in order to make a living?

Police are supposed to be model citizens, not enablers of corruption.

Police are supposed to be the friends of the people, not personal protection for themselves and a few oligarchs.

One of the fundamentals of a strong society is trust in the police and in the courts. Otherwise, the country falls apart.

Witness - the sovok union. Did anyone trust the police or the courts in the sovok union?


Taras said...

You said it. We’re nothing but sitting ducks for the mazhory.

During his debates with Yanukovych in 2004, presidential candidate Yushchenko promised to make law enforcement serve ordinary people, not oligarchs.

However, once he became President, he started having regular meetings with the oligarchs, dismissing his earlier promises as populism.

Last year, he talked about lifting parliamentary immunity and “one law for all.”

Whatever he talks about, it doesn’t make things any better for ordinary Ukrainians.

Taras said...

When I said “kill with impunity,” I also meant this:


Kremenchuk, Ukraine, April 5, 2008
After partying with friends at a local club, a businessman driving a Porsche Cayenne at 150 kph (93 mph) hit three people, shredding them to pieces. Sources that cite the vehicle’s speedometer put the speed at 208 kph (129 mph).

The driver refused to be tested for alcohol and drugs until the day after the event, the article says.

Kremenchuk, Ukraine, July 9, 2008
Police, using the 150 kph figure in their official report, found no evidence of substance abuse on the part of the driver and determined the cause of the accident to be jaywalking on the part of the victims.

Lawyers for the driver hope to use the police findings to build a case of extenuating circumstances that would result in a suspended sentence. At the same time, they’ve also expressed concern that the court may cave in to "public pressure" and sentence their client to prison time.

The case, which has gained wide publicity, is pending trial.