I've been to Ukraine on numerous occasions and never had any problem with bribes. My "bribes" mostly consisted of getting something done more expeditiously or gaining easy access to place and/or commodity.
Bribes in Russia have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur, but every now and then a few rubles can get you out of an unnecessary situation or access to what you need.
This is why Danchik and I seem to differ ..
If anything the bribe culture is worse in Russia.. and more sophisticated ... it would appear that it is franchised from the top, down.
If you have a car registered in Russia and drive - you'll see this first hand ...
1/ Alleged fail 'drink and drive' test ...
Moby response -:"take me to the the station and take my blood" ..
New offer "then pay us a fine" ,
my counter "see you in Court" ... SC then asked to sit in the police car and 'warned' I should not drive when over the limit ... We become friendly with the same Policemen and see them stopping folk in the same spot when walking back from the beach, regularly discussing football ( soccer )
2/ Driving in Adler - Stopped for an 'illegal left turn' - no road / sign suggesting 'illegality',
says Policeman when he catches up - "everyone knows"
Moby: "I am not everyone, I am not local"
Policeman using, Google translate .." Your permit is suspended" ...
Moby handing over UK plastic drivers licence : " Here's my licence, I'll order a replacement from the UK, later today and have it DHL'd "..
Policeman: "Why are you smiling, this is serious?"
Moby: "so give me a ticket and I'll come to Court to defend myself - are you going to dare to ask me for a bribe to make this go away? ... I will not pay, I have done nothing illegal "
Policeman: "What are you doing here ? We would not ask for a bribe" ?
Moby: "I'm here at your region's invitation - pls see my ( 'illegal' - according to some Muppets here) visa ..
Policeman: "What are you doing in Adler?"
Moby: "I'm helping with the English version of the Sochi Autrodrom website for Formula ( What they call F1) "..
Policeman: "Oh, can you get us free tickets ?"
Needless to say, he got no tickets and I got no 'fine'
3/ SC's been tapped several times when I've not been present - so have friends ...
4/ Then there's the "You're using illegal software scam " where companies get raided - and if the company tells the Police to "go away and come back with a warrant " the police return with said warrant and 'find' Microsoft Office fro Windows (on ancient non gui Linux PCs ?) and tell a 1C accounting dealer they have pirated software ..1C software... ?!
Some PCs are taken away as 'evidence' and when it comes to Court it comes out that they were allegedly 'running Windows 10 ( 'illegally' of course) as well as the windows version of MS Office and 'unlicensed 1C'.. The PCs are 2004 vintage and quite incapable of running those MS programs ...
The case is thrown out, the PCs returned but 1 charge of 'failing to declare licensed software was being used' - even though 10 licences were issued by 1C free of charge was upheld as a minor form of 'Piracy'..
When Danchik suggests he 'knows' Russia, I can only suggest he doesn't drive in Russia or operate a business ..
As a foreigner, these things are hidden from sight .... Russians know..
I drove across half of European Russia and got flagged a few times ( 'stop to check' ), but the moment they clocked my non FSU plates ( tags) and I spoke English, I was waved on ... often before I opened my gob or even before I stopped...
As a pedestrian, I have never, had 'hassle' from a UA/ RU policeman - other than at Volgograd airport - when the Policeman on security tried to tell me my." Visa was not in order " and need 5k Roubles - in 2004 that was some bribe and I left it with the lady I was visiting and used my other passport - in those days ( one could have overlapping visas) and popped on the plane before he realised ..
My host's son was ( and is) a policeman in the force and got the money and
the passport back ....
I have found UA / RU police helpful - example - when SC got fined 2k roubles for failing to register me within 24 hours during the Confederation Cup Tournament of 2017 ...
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