In Germany there is quite a lot of talk about Ukraine being a corrupt country where you need to bribe your way through life. It suits the German government and the German public to portray Ukraine as a backward nation that does not understand the basic principles of democracy. Now, when we talk about corruption we need to examine specific situations rather than using stereotypes and recycled opinions. I know that the vast majority of all Ukrainians are as honest and loyal as any nation in western Europe. As a matter of fact, there are areas where the Ukrainians might be even less corrupt than the Germans. Here is an example: The public transit system in Ukraine is
pretty well developed, in many ways even more flexible and convenient than in Germany. In Ukraine you will find forms of public or semi-public transport we don’t have in Germany such as the Маршрутка (a privately operated fleet of shuttle vans that operate in any Ukrainian city). What’s interesting is how the payment system for busses, trams and vans works: You board the bus and hand the fare to the passenger standing next to you who in turn passes it down until it reaches the driver who sends your change back via the same route. The entire transaction takes less than a minute and provides you with great flexibility. Think about the pain you go through when you arrive in a German city and want to use a public bus. You need to find a booth or machine to buy a ticket which usually is rather complicated due to our complex tariff systems. Now, it would be easy to just hop on a bus in a Ukrainian city and take a free ride. So far, I have not seen this happen. To an ordinary Ukrainian, it wouldn’t even occur to rob the bus operator of the one or two hryvnia it costs to use the bus. Would such a system work in Germany? I’m not sure.
If you want see what people from around the world think about Ukraine, please read this forum thread: What are your associations with Ukraine?