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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
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A traditional Ukrainian woman

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Outside of the capital Kiev, the countryside seems quite poor. The young people with whom I spoke, Jews and gentiles, complained about rampant corruption and a system of bribery that permeated Ukrainian life from paying-off police when caught speeding, to slipping a few Hryvnia(Ukrainian currency) to a nurse when a shot is needed. 

Ukraine has had only a few short years of independence in its long history. From the 14 century onward various parts of the Ukraine were under Polish and Lithuanian, control, then split between the Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Under Soviet domination, Ukrainians fought against the German invasion. Ukraine officially declared itself an independent state on August 24, 1991, when the communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine will no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, de facto declaring Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union.

About the Author: Yishai Fleisher is a Contributing Editor at JewishPress.com, Chief Editor at JNi.media, talk-show host, and International Spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, an Israeli Paratrooper, a graduate of Cardozo Law School, and the founder of Kumah ("Arise" in Hebrew), an NGO dedicated to promoting Zionism and strengthening Israel's national character. Yishai is married to Malkah, and they live on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem with their children.

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