Call for justice for Oksana Makar: Rape Victim in Ukraine

[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.

Oksana Makar’s mother, Tatiana Surovitskaya, acting as spokesperson for her daughter, has asked that her name and picture be released to the public, to put a name and a face to this horrendous crime. (picture from Novosti-N)

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:

Со слов одного из подозреваемых становится понятно, что особого раскаяния за содеянное он не испытывает: рассказывает о том, что «Ñ€ÐµÑˆÐ¸Ð»Ð¸ убирать тело» вполне спокойно. А вот следователям он свое поведение объяснил тем, что «Ð±Ñ‹Ð» сильно пьян».

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:

Она орала, руками махала, блин, я ее изнасиловал. Ну а потом она не успокоилась, и я решил задавить. Зашли ребята, увидели происходящее, хозяин сказал, что нужно убирать, тело вынести надо. Пришли домой, переоделись и пошли в магазин. Ребята хотели еще выпить.

The three men being held for the crime, according to the Komsomolskaya Pravda (http://kp.ua/daily/140312/329087/): Maksim Prisyazhnikov, Evgeny Krasnochek, and Artev Pogosyan, all in their early twenties. Picture from vkontakte.ru

In English:

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_162465992. The man speaking, Evgeny Krasnoshchek, reportedly is married with a two-year-old daughter. And, even though it doesn’t seem possible, it gets worse.

According to a petition circulating on change.org, and backed up by the information from the Ukrainian newspapers:

“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.

Published by

Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

22 thoughts on “Call for justice for Oksana Makar: Rape Victim in Ukraine”

  1. The news came that the Charity Fund of Rinat Akhmetov has paid for all expences for Oksana Makar.

    http://www.nikvesti.com/news/public/29264

    It was reported that the state has taken responsibility for all the expences

    Please, be careful with any kind of scam and do not send money to any accounts!

    Please, take a look at the case of Alexandra Popova, she is from the same city and was very severely beaten and raped on the same night as Oksana. She was found naked on the street. She has been in coma for 6 days, with traumas of lungs and head. http://atv.odessa.ua/news/2012/03/16/aleksandra_popova_1260.html

    Alexandra Popova has stains of shoes on her body, but her mother does not want to publish the pictures in media.

    http://forjusticeforhumanrights.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you for this – both the information about Popova and Akhmetov.  I personally think it is important to support Oksana’s mother (as well as Alexandra’s), but I understand the fear of being taken in by a scam.

      Both cases are just awful.

    2. I just saw this article, where Oksana’s mother talks about rumors that she is blowing through the money:  http://gazeta.ua/ru/articles/np/_mama-oksany-makar-rasskazala-na-chto-tratit-sobrannye-dengi/427365

      The fact that she has to defend herself as her daughter is in the hospital is sickening to me.  I will continue to send money to her.  She and Oksana need to be taken care of.

  2. Hello, Susan. My name is Elena. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for taking time to post the article, the updates, and the personal replys to ensure aid gets to Oksana and her family.

    I first saw an article published in the online version of ABC news. I’ve been looking for additional information about this tragedy. It’s painful to read. However, doing so, I found your “call to action.”

    Not all of “the English-speaking world doesn’t ….give a shit.” I am not offended- only concerned that a statement like that brings defensive and divisive attitudes and behavoirs. Education is everything. You are a blessing- educating those of us who are ignorant and uniformed. You have become a change agent. Regardless of the language we speak- our voices can be LOUD and powerful. Now, with the help of Social Media, voices can grow exponentially bringing that change quicker than ever. (Albeit not soon enough for Oksana)

    I look forward to donating –sharing what blessings I have with Oksana. I am motivated by outrage and deep sadness to spread the word about this injustice. Voice is so important in any fight. My proverbial pen is my sword, and I am ready to swing.

    Aside from getting the word out- what can I do here, in Texas, to organize an effort to gather donations? Aside from letters and cash, are you aware of anything else that might be helpful?

    I saw a picture of Oksana’s hospital room. It appears sparse, and I realize it may be because she needs the most sanitary environment possible, as not to come in contact with germs that might cause infection.

    Is there a way to send moral support and blessings along with financial help? In addition to feeling supported– it may show the government that Oksana’s suffering will not go unnoticed, that her suffering is not in vein, and the demand for justice will not go away until it is fulfilled.

    Again, Susan, thank you. I can only imagine how much heart, passion and time goes into this effort. I took me almost 2 hours to find further information, your site, and to reply. God bless you.

    1. Hi Elena,

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment.  I’ve been extremely frustrated at the lack of English-language information, and that comes out in my articles.  You are right, though, it isn’t helpful.  It comes from a place of feeling helpless, I guess.

      The biggest thing that can be done in terms of make sure that voices are heard is to sign the petition.  http://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-president-of-ukraine-justice-for-oksana-makar  It currently has a little over 3,000 signatures, but I am hopeful that it will go up, way up.  I think it’s important for the government of Ukraine, both in Kyiv and in the regions throughout, that people are watching and noticing the corruption, and that it isn’t okay.  Justice for some means injustice for all.  If you can spread the word about the petition, that would be a big step.

      As far as monetary donations, I have not yet seen any other ways to donate than in the fund that is linked above.  http://fundly.com/justiceinmykolayiv .  If you are donating from within Ukraine (I know that you aren’t, but if you know people who are), you can donate directly to the mother’s card:  PrivatBank, name: Суровицкая Татьяна Романовна, card number: 6762 4620 5746 3702.

      The Ukrainian news press has also published Oksana’s mother’s telephone number, but last I saw, she had turned it off (I’m sure she is just overwhelmed).  For now, from what I can see, the best way to send moral support is psychologically/spiritually.  Oksana and her mother have been moved to Donetsk.

      Actually, you got me thinking, and I looked up the address to the burn center in Donetsk.  It is probably worth trying to send a card to them there, from the news it looks like they will be there for awhile.  The address is:

      Ukraine  83045
      Donetsk Ozhogovyj Tsentr OTKB
      INVK Immeni V.K. Gusaka
      Pr. Leninskyi, Dom 47
      Makar Oksana

      The mail isn’t super reliable between America and Ukraine, but I’m sure that the people in the hospital know that she is there, and it’s likely to get there.  It’s worth a shot, if you have the time.

      And thank *you* for reading this.  I have been sick about this since I started reading it, and what I want, more than anything, is for it not to have happened.  But secondly, it’s for people to know about it, for people to stand up and say that justice must be served, and for Oksana to be taken care of.

        1. If you would feel comfortable, you can paypal money to me, and I will add it to the fund. It’ll be clear because as soon as I see you have paypalled me, you can check the fund and it will show the new donation from me.  But I understand if you don’t feel comfortable.

    1. I hope it makes a difference.  I keep looking to see if there are other English language organizations picking up the story – but so far, nothing.  It’s not that English speakers are the end-all be-all, but there is strength in numbers on this one, if the world can show that the corruption won’t stand.  It seems to be working so far, but I don’t think it’s possible to send too strong of a message.  And at least in America, there is *so* much more disposable income.

  3. Is it awful to say I’m not surprised by any of this news? And a fear that a petition will do little? My intention isn’t to be dismiss what this girl has gone through and is going through now, but an unfortunate resignation to the horrors (both in action and in consequence) that are still going on in places like Ukraine.

    Thank you for bringing this story to a wide audience, Susan.

    1. I am hopeful that it will make a difference in the treatment of the men.  It already has – when attention was brought to the situation, suddenly, the fact that there are relatives in local politics didn’t mean that they were let free, and they were picked up again.  Awareness so often does so little, but in this case – just the knowledge that people are watching what the police do can make a difference.

      And I’m so upset and disgusted with it – with the confession and how it was just part of the night’s craziness – that I have to hope that it can make a difference.  Probably not in this stuff happening, but in how the aftermath is dealt with.

      They were released without bail because of their connections.  And then picked back up and put back into custody when it made the national news.  We have to push on this.  They have to know that people are watching.

      1. I hope it does make a difference, it is – as I said – my fear that even so, there won’t be a difference. Or if it does, that it will only be in this case, as a token gesture, as it were, because they know people are watching. Things most definitely need to change.

        And goodness, I can appreciate how it feels to be upset by a story, the most recent one in my memory is about the DRC (trigger warning – very distressing content – City of Joy). It’s what prompted me to start donating to UNICEF (one of the charities doing work in the area) and to simply do more to be aware of what’s going on there. Ah, apologies for going off on a tangent.

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