Corruption in Ukraine Amazes American Contractor
March 10, 2014
(Left, cops routinely bribed )
Ranked 144 of 176 in a worldwide index,
"Ukraine corruption" even has a Wikipedia entry.
Brian Anderson describes reasons
by Brian Anderson
One of my Ukrainian colleagues asked me if I was informing my friends back home about the situation here. I admitted that I've only talked to my wife much about it and he accepted that. I got to thinking and decided that I've been delinquent.
I came here in 20-- on a contract [with] the Ukrainian Army. It was a dismal failure. The military budget couldn't support building the kind of [unit] the US Army has. Ukraine just doesn't have the budget for the personnel and training changes that are necessary...
During my last five years here now, I've met and worked with several Ukrainian mid-grade (major through colonel) and junior grade (lieutenant and captain) officers. Plus a few hundred cadets. I've made friends, a couple enemies, and a lot of good colleagues. I've met local civilians and have eaten in some fantastic cafes. I enjoy living in western Ukraine. It has a history that goes back a couple thousand years and is rich in a culture that even 50 years of Soviet occupation could not destroy.
Ukrainians are almost as much of a mixed culture as is the USA. There are leftists, rightists, centrists, and a few idiots. There is a small but vocal group that bears resemblance to the Nazi Party in Germany in 1939. There are human rights activists, well educated professionals, business entrepreneurs, and criminals. Just like home.
What amazed me, however, was the level of corruption. I expected it, after having worked in former socialist countries before, and have seen what happens when you toss out the communists.
The only groups ready to replace the communists the only groups with a formal/semi-formal hierarchy, organization, chains of command, resource procurement procedures, etc... the only groups immediately available... are the crooks and criminal organizations.
(left, Ukrainians astonished at opulence of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych's mansion. he even had a private zoo.)
What usually happens is the crooks make their way into government positions, both elected and appointed, and just raise the level of their operations to a national level. The people usually get tired of it, and either vote them out, or kick their asses out.
Once they do, the only groups ready to move back in and take charge are.... the old communists! They'll have a new name, but old styles. So the folks kick them out and the damned crooks come back in... usually with less power.
Ukraine has gone through these cycles. There is no civil service system here. When a new political party takes charge, everyone who works for the government expects to lose their job. Teachers, civil works technicians, cops, secretaries, postal workers, etc. If they don't offer a bribe to their new politically appointed boss, they will lose their paycheck.
Cops are a special thing. No city cops, no state cops, just the national police. And they get paid MUCH less than minimum wage. A cop does not chase criminals; he chases his boss's political opponents. A traffic cop does not enforce traffic laws; he fights to get assigned to a check point on a good street so he can stop new cars and extort money from the driver (obviously well off... he's driving a new car) using some trumped up charge.
I've been stopped many times. They want me to blow into a fake breathalyzer so they can charge me with DUI. I was stopped once and they asked for my ID and drivers license. I unbuckled my seat belt to get to my wallet. The cop looked at my license and then wanted to charge me with not wearing my seat-belt. Normal Ukrainians normally pay the cop somewhere between $12 to $20 to get on their way. I show my US passport and start dialing the embassy on my cell phone. They usually let me go.
Businesses are extorted by officers attempting to enforce unwritten city codes. Driving schools don't teach kids to drive, the kids can buy a license for $50 and walk out the same day they enrolled in the course. Everything is like that.
When I got here I was just flat amazed how deep the corruption was. My translator asked me how I would handle such a situation back in south Texas. I told him we had enforceable laws, much more accountability of officials ... and as a last resort, the .45 on my hip and the AR-15 in my bedroom gun cabinet. He sighed.... said we have none of that. We can't make changes.
Well, folks. Ukrainians stood up on their hind legs these last few months, and they fought back against the crooks... and they won! More than one hundred of them died doing it. It'll take the new folks in government to change what they had. It's hard changing a nation, a culture of corruption, a business environment that doesn't know how to enforce contract law. But they want to give it a chance.
And now, Vladimir Putin has decided that he can't allow the new Ukrainians to succeed. Because if they do, Russians might decide to get rid of the criminals who are the Russian Mafia, and the people like Putin who are trying to rebuild... not the Soviet Union ... but the old Russian Empire. There are good geo-political reasons for him to desire that., but it comes at the cost of Ukrainian freedoms to chose.
The US will not, maybe cannot jump in here and oppose the Russians militarily (the US has zero tanks left in Germany, folks). The Germans, Brits, French, etc don't have the forces to do it either. Nor the political will. So a NATO military option is out of the question. The Ukrainian military is too small, too under-resourced, and too tied to old Soviet style doctrine to go it alone.
So, what is left?
That will be up to President Obama, the British Prime Minister, Ban-Ki-Moon at the UN, and, believe it or not, the people and prime minister of Turkey.
The Poles might go up against the Russians. They've done it before. Polish military history is pretty brave. They've been outclassed and outmatched, but no one can ever accuse them of cowardice. If the Russians try to take western Ukraine, the Poles might surprise everyone.
I support what the Ukrainians are trying to do. I can't do much about it. Because of the semi-official position I work in, I can't do much more. If it gets too dangerous out here in western Ukraine, I have to go home. If it gets too politically strenuous for the US, the State Department might order us to go home.
I'm not impressed with John Kerry whining that Putin doesn't respond to our super-civilized new world society. He is "stunned" that Mr Putin acted in the same old way that Russians have always reacted. By force. By making your enemies fear you. By taking action, not talking. I'm amazed that anyone with a clue really thinks that this 21st century is going to be much different than the 19th century. History shows us otherwise. Every. Damned. Time.
So, I've made my conscience easier by writing this. The old Ukrainian colleague who asked if I had written my friends is a retired colonel. And he is itching to put his uniform back on and go defend Ukraine. Against the Russians. Against a force a hundred times bigger. He has a beautiful, thirteen year old daughter. Who wants to be a ballerina. And he wants her to have the opportunity to do it in a free, law-abiding, free-enterprise nation. And he's willing to go up against the Russian Bear to do it.
I just wanted you to know.
Related- Corruption and National Decline Go Hand in Hand
First Comment from Jason:
As a former Marine and alumnus of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) with a degree in military history, I have to agree with Mr. Anderson on much of what he said.
I cannot speak on personal experience as much as this gentleman, but his story of communist struggles of eastern europe is extremely plausible from my studies of communism and history in general. Authoritarian governments breed corruption and it spreads much like a plague, and in its wake leaves a massive vacuum of power. His description of working in former Soviet countries was a great primary example of the struggle that ensues in the 'Cycle Government' described through out history.
I also have to agree with his statements about Putin. Especially, the part about Putin attempting to revive the glory of the old Russian Empire. This fact is illustrated by the Russian revival of the the Imperial Double Headed Eagle, so prominent in Freemasonry, a clear example of dualism as well as potential subvert influence. Imperial glory is also illustrated by Putin's actions. As Mr. Anderson points out, Russia historically negotiates from a position of strength, or "force" and "action."
Any true student of military history or geo political history must understand the power of controlling the initiative. The two great works of war "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu and "On War" by Carl von Clausewitz both instruct the importance of maintaining the initiative, and making the enemy react to you. This is also illustrated by the historical examples of the great captains of war Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Frederick Barbarossa, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E Lee, George Patton, Chesty Puller, and many more. The initiative cannot be over emphasized in warfare, just as you have pointed out many times deception in warfare, whether military, political, or financial, cannot be over emphasized. Of course, one must truly understand and accept we are in fact in the middle of a spiritual and physical war, a war that has been going on since the beginning of recorded history, to truly grasp the importance of the initiative as it relates to your research as a whole.
Putin's move in Crimea was and is to control the initiative. To make the west react to him. The logistics are in his favor, the western political appetite for war is in his favor, and the economic reality is in his favor. The west likely will not pursue a military option, and Putin will secure Crimea in the Russian Federation. History will see this accomplished primarily through Putin's will to take the initiative and the west not willing to escalate Putin's move also due to Crimean 'popular sovereignty' or 'self-determination' as well as the previous mentioned appetite for war. In reality, logistics and finance truly dictate the grand strategic level. As a Colonel once told me, "amateurs talk tactics, experts talk logistics." One thing I've come to realize over the course of my studies is logistics and finance go hand in hand.
However, you never can underestimate the will of the cabalist international bankers in this 'millennia old global chess game,' since they truly dictate the game, and if they have an appetite for war all bets are truly off.
(Makow reply: Thanks Jason. I believe Putin is justified tn taking Crimea because the US/Zionists toppled Viktor Vanukovych, Putin's puppet in Kiev, even after an election was promised.
The new Ukrainian government, led by Jewish central banker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, represents a threat to their Black sea access. The US, not Putin, is the aggressor worldwide, doing the Illuminati bankers' dirty work in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Americans must realize their government and media are totally subverted and lie about everything, from 9-11, Newtown and Boston to Ukraine. Serving traitors is not patriotism.)
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at