[Trigger warning for rape, horror, torture, corruption]
You know that feeling, when something absolutely, horrendously terrible happens, and there is nothing you can do?
And then you find out that nothing is being done, even by the people who can possibly serve justice?
And then you feel a need to get involved?
Get ready, because you’re about to feel it.
This past weekend, in the city of Mykolayiv, Ukraine, Oksana Makar, a 19-year-old woman was lured into an apartment by three men, raped, strangled, raped again, and left near a fire to burn. Unbeknownst to them, she survived. And according to an article in Vikna-Novosti, she never lost consciousness. She had 3rd and 4th degree burns on 55% of her body, and has since had both feet and her right arm amputated.
This is really, really awful. But it gets worse.
From the Mykolayiv Regional Internet News:
Ð¡Ð¾ ÑÐ»Ð¾Ð² Ð¾Ð´Ð½Ð¾Ð³Ð¾ Ð¸Ð· Ð¿Ð¾Ð´Ð¾Ð·Ñ€ÐµÐ²Ð°ÐµÐ¼Ñ‹Ñ… ÑÑ‚Ð°Ð½Ð¾Ð²Ð¸Ñ‚ÑÑ Ð¿Ð¾Ð½ÑÑ‚Ð½Ð¾, Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾ Ð¾ÑÐ¾Ð±Ð¾Ð³Ð¾ Ñ€Ð°ÑÐºÐ°ÑÐ½Ð¸Ñ Ð·Ð° ÑÐ¾Ð´ÐµÑÐ½Ð½Ð¾Ðµ Ð¾Ð½ Ð½Ðµ Ð¸ÑÐ¿Ñ‹Ñ‚Ñ‹Ð²Ð°ÐµÑ‚: Ñ€Ð°ÑÑÐºÐ°Ð·Ñ‹Ð²Ð°ÐµÑ‚ Ð¾ Ñ‚Ð¾Ð¼, Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾ «Ñ€ÐµÑˆÐ¸Ð»Ð¸ ÑƒÐ±Ð¸Ñ€Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ Ñ‚ÐµÐ»Ð¾» Ð²Ð¿Ð¾Ð»Ð½Ðµ ÑÐ¿Ð¾ÐºÐ¾Ð¹Ð½Ð¾. Ð Ð²Ð¾Ñ‚ ÑÐ»ÐµÐ´Ð¾Ð²Ð°Ñ‚ÐµÐ»ÑÐ¼ Ð¾Ð½ ÑÐ²Ð¾Ðµ Ð¿Ð¾Ð²ÐµÐ´ÐµÐ½Ð¸Ðµ Ð¾Ð±ÑŠÑÑÐ½Ð¸Ð» Ñ‚ÐµÐ¼, Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾ «Ð±Ñ‹Ð» ÑÐ¸Ð»ÑŒÐ½Ð¾ Ð¿ÑŒÑÐ½».
In English? Brace yourselves:
In the words of one of the suspects, it becomes clear that he doesn’t feel much
remorse for what he did: he talks about “deciding to remove the body” quite calmly. He explained his conduct to the investigators, saying he “was very drunk.”
Another quote from the main suspect, taken from the Vikna article above:
ÐžÐ½Ð° Ð¾Ñ€Ð°Ð»Ð°, Ñ€ÑƒÐºÐ°Ð¼Ð¸ Ð¼Ð°Ñ…Ð°Ð»Ð°, Ð±Ð»Ð¸Ð½, Ñ ÐµÐµ Ð¸Ð·Ð½Ð°ÑÐ¸Ð»Ð¾Ð²Ð°Ð». ÐÑƒ Ð° Ð¿Ð¾Ñ‚Ð¾Ð¼ Ð¾Ð½Ð° Ð½Ðµ ÑƒÑÐ¿Ð¾ÐºÐ¾Ð¸Ð»Ð°ÑÑŒ, Ð¸ Ñ Ñ€ÐµÑˆÐ¸Ð» Ð·Ð°Ð´Ð°Ð²Ð¸Ñ‚ÑŒ. Ð—Ð°ÑˆÐ»Ð¸ Ñ€ÐµÐ±ÑÑ‚Ð°, ÑƒÐ²Ð¸Ð´ÐµÐ»Ð¸ Ð¿Ñ€Ð¾Ð¸ÑÑ…Ð¾Ð´ÑÑ‰ÐµÐµ, Ñ…Ð¾Ð·ÑÐ¸Ð½ ÑÐºÐ°Ð·Ð°Ð», Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾ Ð½ÑƒÐ¶Ð½Ð¾ ÑƒÐ±Ð¸Ñ€Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ, Ñ‚ÐµÐ»Ð¾ Ð²Ñ‹Ð½ÐµÑÑ‚Ð¸ Ð½Ð°Ð´Ð¾. ÐŸÑ€Ð¸ÑˆÐ»Ð¸ Ð´Ð¾Ð¼Ð¾Ð¹, Ð¿ÐµÑ€ÐµÐ¾Ð´ÐµÐ»Ð¸ÑÑŒ Ð¸ Ð¿Ð¾ÑˆÐ»Ð¸ Ð² Ð¼Ð°Ð³Ð°Ð·Ð¸Ð½. Ð ÐµÐ±ÑÑ‚Ð° Ñ…Ð¾Ñ‚ÐµÐ»Ð¸ ÐµÑ‰Ðµ Ð²Ñ‹Ð¿Ð¸Ñ‚ÑŒ.
She shouted, waving her arms, damnit, I raped her. Well then she calmed down, and I decided to knock her down. The other guys came in and saw what was happening, and then the guy whose apartment it was said that we needed to clean up, we had to remove the body. When we got home, we changed clothes and went to the store. The guys wanted another drink.
Here is a video of the confession http://vk.com/video136818312_
“There are suspicions that the two of alleged suspects are from families with high social status and resources – in fact, they were released without bail.”
The two were released and treated as “witnesses.”
It is no secret that Ukraine has a ridiculously high level of corruption – the highest, in fact, among the countries of the former Soviet Union (no small feat), and higher than most other developed countries. According to a 2009 article in the Kyiv Post, “More than one out of every 10 respondents had to pay bribes last in the last 12 months. Four out of ten bribe-givers said the bribe was 10% of their annual income.” Money can buy just about anything in Ukraine. As it stands, it is looking like money and connections in high places can buy you the right to rape, attempt to murder, and burn a teenager with no repercussion.
Since that petition has begun circulating, and the national news of Ukraine picked up the story, the suspects have been picked up again. Money and influence will only get you so far.
Which is to say that there can be repercussions. For a start, sign the petition that is headed to the president of Ukraine. Fight power with power. These men may have influence in the small town of Mykolayiv, but nobody wants an international incident, and worldwide pressure on the justice system of Ukraine can make a difference.
Second – money is a big problem at this point. I realize that money is tight for everybody, but I also realize that the enormous sum of treating the victim, quoted as 1500-2000 griven per day, comes out to about $250 American a day. As Americans and Western Europeans, we have an incredible fortune that we often take for granted, and that’s that a dollar is a small unit of money to many of us – whereas in Ukraine, the average salary is $237 per month. Most people in Ukraine simply do not have extra dollars to throw around.
This account has been set up to accept donations, which you can make instantly using a credit card, and the money will be forwarded on to the victim’s mother. Please give if you can, even a dollar.
I don’t know how to end this post. I am sick to my stomach over this – the entire incident, the torture and hell that this woman has been through, the joke that is justice when you have money and power in Ukraine. Please spread the word. Fight the influence of these three young men with the influence of worldwide pressure. Fight for justice.