This is not a column about corruption in the OVIR (Office of Visa and Registrations). Such would be met with a collective ho-hum. Bribery is endemic in Ukraine whether you are dealing with an uncomplicated request for permanent residency, as above, or driving down the road and getting stopped by the militia.
These penny-ante transgressions are easily dealt with, though getting things done above-board takes a little longer. The four words road police generally hate to hear is “give me a ticket.” which means wasted time for them and no bribe. Most often they just wave you on, even if you were in the wrong.
But these incidents represent merely the small stuff in the Grand Bazaar of bribery.