Blaming the State or Sharing Responsibility - The Ukrainian Maidan Movement and Changing Opinions on Ukrainian and Russian Corruption
Summary, in English
This article examines how ordinary Russian and Ukrainian citizens experience and relate to extensive and pervasive corruption (high- level, everyday, political) in everyday discussions and demands – in relation to authorities, politicians, civil servants, and fellow citizens. Anonymous interviews conducted in Ukraine and Kaliningrad oblast from 2009 to 2014 show differences in anti-corruption demands and citizens’ attitudes to the states’ versus individuals’ roles and whom to blame for corruption. National corruption debates and quantitative surveys enhance our understanding. In Kaliningrad, citizens continued seeing the state as the main enemy blamed for corruption. Along with the Maidan events, corruption became more significant in Ukrainian everyday discussions, civil society, and media debate. Individuals in Ukraine, unlike in Russia, started to elaborate “personal” or “shared” responsibility regarding corruption. The interview material indicates that abrupt changes in attitudes to corruption are possible.