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    Posted February 22, 2014 by
    Kyiv city, Ukraine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    alphonsine87 and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
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    The True Heroes of Kyiv and the Cancerous Nature of Corruption


    Whenever government is built upon a profane premise in the guise of democracy, it serves only to breed mistrust amongst the people, and provides the perfect environment for the corrupt to thrive, destroying an institution as cancer destroys cells and ultimately the entire body.


    Systemic corruption, destroys systematically. It spreads like cancer through a body, or a colony of termites through a log cabin. There is always a reason for social and political modification, nothing happens by chance in regards to the sweeping change demanded by the oppressed, that ultimately spark revolution. Often corruption is so essential to the current structure of government that the thought alone of not delivering favors, and bribes causes an indescribable vexation. Corruption has in this case, become the system. So how do we combat this, is there a legitimate way to change a system infected with corruption, without demolishing the current apparatus in lieu of a new one? This is the question that the citizens of Kyiv and the whole of Ukraine have been faced with for years.


    As uneasy and as tense as the situation has been in Kyiv, amidst the turmoil and chaos, there is a forgotten heroism that has taken a backseat to the violence. Terms like courage, valor, and bravery, have been replaced by riot, death, and bloodshed.
    Armed and ready to defend there beliefs, the protesters, took to the field. Behind shields of sheet metal, helmets with symbols of hope and determination attached to them, flanked by snow and fire,  the government losing ground, as they march on.


    Yet there is a particular group of individuals, vital to the development and stability of the opposition forces that get lost amongst the madness of it all. They have no shields. They have no bats, no firearms. They are armed with arguably the most profound weapons of them all, faith, kindness, and courage in the face of danger and destruction. The volunteers who are often, young people, students, men and women, spend their days going back and forth bringing supplies and medical care to their troops. They are the most vulnerable of protesters, and do not consider themselves any different then the rest of their countrymen and women who have given there lives in hope for a better future.


    They are the brothers, the sisters, the mother's and fathers of this revolution, they are the moral compass of this battle, when all has seemed lost in violence and atrocity, they are there to remind the people why they should carry on.Without sacrificing there beliefs, or humanity. They are why this has not yet turned into civil war, they are the reason why police have defected and the government has folded. They seek not glory or martyrdom, they seek peace, they seek health, and battle corruption, the same way that a doctor should battle cancer, aware that there is no cure. You may believe that the patriots of Kyiv have found lasting victory. Unfortunately they have not. But what they have found is that it takes more than violence to make room for change, it takes more than faith. It takes heart, it takes love, and it takes true bravery, as these volunteers showed, risking there lives. When asked why they do it, you find true heroism, it is my belief that they do it, Not because they were asked to, or because it is expected, they do it, because it is necessary.


    The only difference between a nation and an individual human-being is that a nation unlike an individual,  once they reach the point of no return, can rise again, stronger than before. Our problem in dealing with corruption, is the belief that there is a cure instead of attacking it like cancer, with various analysis, and treatment. I am optimistic that cancer can one day be cured, I am not so optimistic about corruption. For corruption may just be intrinsic, there are no tests that can be run for it, no family history to be taken, no genetic predispositions to note.


    Even as deals are made with the government to release prisoners and concessions are made to limit government power, there are no guarantees, that Kyiv will not once again need to rise and battle this cancerous corruption. Unlike some of the protesters who are battle hardened, and have grown angry, and at times when necessary violent, these volunteers, do all that they feel they must, with no malice or hate in there hearts. It is this balance, that has pushed back this corruption, it is this balance that should give hope to all that are fortunate enough to bare witness to change. As true change starts from the inside, and grows, but unlike cancer, once it grows and spreads it is a good thing, perhaps it is the best of things.


    Yet corruption, like cancer may have its place in society. Many would surmise that change in some way is always necessary. But if change is essential, than in a way, so is corruption. The flip side of the same coin, the unity of opposites. That democracy perhaps cannot thrive without some form of deceit. That on a more philosophical level, cancer and with it death, reminds us to love, live, and cherish every moment. That since the systems we give power to are all based on faith, perhaps what famed English actor, writer and dramatist Peter Ustinov said on corruption is true. That “corruption is natures way of restoring our faith in democracy.” As these heroes, these patriots and there faith in democracy, give me hope that the next foundation laid in the streets of Kyiv, near Independence square, will be built not just with brick and mortar, but with the love, and random, thankless acts of kindness, the brave volunteers of the Maidan have showed. Then and only then, will Kyiv, and the rest of Ukraine find lasting freedom, independence, and victory. As so, united, they march on.

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