For the last two months, Ukrainians have been united more than ever — helping refugees, holding the economy, and getting everything possible for our military, except for a philosophical stone (it’s because the military have not yet asked for it). The war reminded of the real values, but, unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone — there are those who profit from it.

So, we’ve prepared a guide on what to do if you face such people. First comes a general plan of action, and below you will find clarifications and useful contacts for the most common cases: corruption at border crossings for exit and entry, obtaining documents necessary for the importation of goods, as well as during the service of a summons or distribution of humanitarian supplies.

So, a few general rules in case you face a corrupt official:

  1. Read the papers carefully and listen to everything you are told. Never sign anything without reading it.
  2. If possible, record the violation on a voice recorder or video. For example, how you are being asked for a bribe. It can be not only money, but also any other things or services (the law indicates a collecting concept of “unlawful benefit”). Please note that offering, promising, or giving a bribe is the same crime as extorting it (Article 369 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Moreover, try to find witnesses or people who have faced the same situation themselves. This is optional, but will help to bring the case to a close and punish the perpetrator.
  3. Regardless of whether you were able to record violations and/or find witnesses, contact the National Police with a report of a crime.
  4. If law enforcement is inactive, please allow this situation to be made public. Currently, public pressure is particularly strong and can help attract attention. How to know if law enforcement has accepted the application? Within 24 hours after you submit it, the information about the offense must be entered in the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations. As an applicant, you should be given an extract from this register — there will be information about the number of criminal proceedings. Law enforcement officers are not required to inform you about the progress of cases, but you have the right to find out whether the pre-trial investigation has ended and whether the case has been referred to court or closed. You may also be questioned.

Going to the police is the main thing. In addition, we advise you to report corruption to the management of employees who have committed offenses. This is an additional step because if an employee receives a report of corruption, or detects it on their own, they are obliged to immediately take measures to stop it, and contact law enforcement agencies within 24 hours.

Let us tell you who else to inform in different cases.

Corruption at the border while leaving the country

Situations that may arise here:

  • You want to cross the border and have the right to do so, but you are asked for a bribe — this is most relevant for men. Documents required for exit can be checked in the rulesor clarified with the State Border Service: they publish explanations and have a hotline.
  • You have learned that border guards illegally let out of the country those who do not have the right to leave.
  • Or they allow to take out of the country what is not allowed to be taken out — for example, large amounts of currency in cash.

If you become aware of corruption in the border service, apart from the police, you should report it:

Corruption at the border during entry to Ukraine

There may be problems here if you bring something in: any humanitarian aid or goods for the military. First of all, it is important to remember that it is not border guards who control the transportation of things, but customs. Therefore, corruption should be reported to the management of this service:

If customs officers do not demand a bribe directly, but simply sabotage their work, silently hinting at it, contact:

If it didn’t work, call the police.

Corruption in public and military administrations

In March, the rules for the import of humanitarian aid, as well as equipment for the troops, were simplified — now only a short declaration on them needs to be filled. However, first, to transport a number of goods across the border, a letter from the regional state or military administration was required, depending on the case. If their employees demanded something from you for this document, inform their leadership, or, if it were them — then the Joint Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This could be done:

Corruption to evade mobilization

On February 24, the President signed a decree, according to which, within 90 days from that date, general mobilization was carried out throughout Ukraine.

In order for the country to mobilize the military personnel, they must be registered in the military enlistment office at the place of residence. If you temporarily changed it after the war began, you need to register with the military enlistment office of the district where you currently live.

Summons can be served by representatives of local executive bodies (regional, district administrations), local self-government bodies (village, town, city councils), as well as employers. At the same time, a telephone call or an oral invitation to the military enlistment office is not considered a summons. And a written summons is considered received only if the person has signed the relevant document.

Remember that avoiding registration and mobilization entails administrative or criminal liability.

If you are offered to give a bribe to avoid being registered or mobilized, or if you are aware of such violations with other people, contact the National Police according to the instruction that we gave at the beginning of the text.

Embezzlement of humanitarian aid

Unfortunately, you can come across numerous stories of theft, sale, or resale of humanitarian aid for military and civilian populations online. This is not a corruption violation, but also a crime.

At the end of March, MPs adopted a law that criminalizes “the use of humanitarian aid, charitable donations, or free assistance not for its intended purpose, namely for the purpose of gaining profit or personal enrichment during the martial law.”

The misuse of humanitarian aid will now be punishable by 3 to 7 years of imprisonment, with or without confiscation of property. If it is done by officials with the use of power or official position, it will aggravate the guilt.

If you witnessed the embezzlement, sale, or other misuse of humanitarian aid:

  1. Record the sale of the relevant products in a photo or video.
  2. Demand from the sellers to provide documents confirming the legality of receipt and sale of goods (quality certificates, invoices, etc.).
  3. If you are denied providing these documents, regardless of whether the sale or theft of humanitarian aid was recorded, contact the National Police with a report of a crime.
  4. In case of inaction of law enforcement agencies — make this information public.

There can be cases when the sale of humanitarian aid could not be seen, but it disappears somewhere and does not reach its destination. In this case, it is necessary to contact either the leadership of the military and civil administration or involve journalists in the investigation.

Most importantly, don’t ignore such cases. Corruption brings destruction. And while the military fight for our country against the external enemy, we need to protect it from the internal enemy.