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You're reading: Cars, chutzpah and crashes in Ukraine

As visitors to Ukraine know, the country’s automobile drivers are a menace to society. They drive too fast and too carelessly, they drink and drive and then drink some more, and they think they own the roads. That they rarely wear seatbelts goes without saying.

They’re also a menace to themselves. President Viktor Yanukovych’s close adviser Hanna Herman lost a son in a tragic car accident in 2009.
Take a walk in downtown Kyiv and you’re likely to find that there are as many cars on the sidewalks as there are people.

All of them are going somewhere, but whereas most people are polite enough to let you pass, most drivers feel that it’s you who are imposing on them. A friend of mine once tried to sidestep an automobile that was bearing down on him on the sidewalk.

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