Closure to Ufa Rape Story

Dear Readers:

While I was busy reviewing a delightful opera, lots of other stuff (most of it ugly) was happening out there in the world.  Including that Ufa rape story, so I just wanted to bring some closure on that, for those readers who may have been following the story on my blog.

So I have these two followup pieces, this one and this one, both by reporter Anna Insarova, who covered the story for the Russian press.

Ufa, Russia

Recall that the young ethnic-Tatar policewoman was beaten up and raped by three of her supervisors in an Ufa police department, whither she had been invited (along with another girl) for a typical (for that crowd) office party.  Involving strong beverages.  Also recall that the middle-aged cop who first laid hands on the vic looks like Shrek and a mountain gorilla had a child.  When the vic arrived at the party, she had already been imbibing quite a lot, a fact which enraged the gorilla.  A melee ensued, in which the vic was gang-raped by the three male cops, and the other girl helped hold her down.  In the aftermath, all three rapists were dismissed from their jobs, arrested, and are still in prison awaiting trial on criminal charges of assault and rape.  After a period of healing and administrative leave, the vic temporarily returned to her job, to the dismay of her co-workers, who appear to hate her guts.  Recall that the Russian press was all speculation about the role in this played by the vic’s powerful dad, an officer in the Russian Federal National Guard, and whether he would use his “krysha” to help his daughter keep her job.  Personally, if I was the rapists, I’d be more worried about paternal vengeance.

Sacked Like Gilda

Well, some of these mysteries have been cleared up in the closure.  For starters, Insarova reports that the vic has been, in the end, fired from her job in the police force.  Along with her female friend.  One’s first reaction might be one of cynicism:  Of course!  Women who complain of sexual harassment and rape are always treated like whistle blowers.  They get fired, and the harassers get promoted to management with a pat on the back and an attaboy, isn’t that always the way?

At second glance, it’s not exactly like that.  The three rapists have not been promoted (at least not yet), nor given attaboys, they are still under arrest; after all, their DNA was found inside the vic, in places that it had no right being.  Secondly, the vic herself was forthright in her statement to the police, that she had arrived at the office party already drunk like a skunk.  And this is the technical reason why she was fired.  According to a statement by the Bashkir Republican Ministry of Internal Affairs:  “A decision was made to terminate the employment of the two [female] colleagues of the Russian Police of the Ufimsky Region.  Termination was due to cause, behavior unbecoming the honor of Internal Ministry Colleagues.”

The vic with her eyes blurred out to disguise her identity!

The firing was announced by Lieutenant-General of the Bashkir Ministry of Internal Affairs, Roman Deev.  According to Roman, investigators determined that the two women, along with the three men, had been drinking on the job, blatantly right there in the office!  So, all five of them have been fired.  And thus justice has been served even-handedly.  Recall that this was a very high-profile case in the Russian press.  In normal times the bosses might have just fired the rape victim and promoted the rapists, but in this case everybody was watching them with a microscope.  The end result is proper, in my opinion.  I have seen enough office politics in my own sad career to know that, when one is dealing with a nest of scorpions, sometimes it’s just better to fire everybody and let God sort them out later.

Speculation:  One can only speculate why the vic herself decided to report the rape after the fact.  Surely she knew that, admitting to drinking on the job, she would be fired?  Or maybe she didn’t think through all those ramifications.  It is odd to think that, if she had just kept her mouth shut about the rape, gathered up her clothes and crawled home with a hangover, then nobody would have been the wiser.  Sometimes it is better to just suck up a grievance, even one that nasty.  One can only speculate as to her psychology; but it remains a fact that, the moment she awoke from her drunken coma, she rushed off to the hospital, did a rape-kit, filed a complaint, and got her rapists fired.  In doing so, she forthrightly admitted to everything, including the drinking and her own intoxicated state.  Maybe that was all she cared about at the time:  Justice.  Regardless of the consequences to herself or her family.

One can also speculate at the role played by the vic’s mother.  In earlier posts, we learned that the mom is a powerful and formidable character, and that the vic does nothing without the latter’s advice.  One can speculate that the vic phoned her mom sobbing on the floor, that the mom told her exactly what she had to do.  And recall that, after the administrative leave was over, the mom accompanied her daughter back to the office, issuing stern warnings to all and sundry, all the old grizzled cops, that they better not utter a peep against her treasure.

And speaking of the family, there is a very sad element here, which hints at a long-time rift between the separated parents.  Insarova reports that the vic’s father, whose name is Irek Sagitov, has publicly disowned his daughter, saying that he does not even recognize her.  One wonders if this is because of her alcohol abuse, or because she now has a reputation as promiscuous?

Is There A Future For This Girl?

As mentioned, the three rapists are in jail, awaiting trial.  In addition to the criminal charges, they (and their attorneys) will find themselves also fielding civil complaints.  A couple of weeks ago (January 15), a civil court recognized them as civil defendants in an action brought by the vic.  She will sue them for money.

A new life in Sterlitamak?

In the final followup story, Insarova reports that the vic, fired from her job in the police, is planning a new future for herself.  If she lived in America, she would be the star of a new Reality TV show.  But no, she says she wants to become a lawyer.  She has already submitted an application in the town of Sterlitamak, Bashkortostan.

According to wiki, this is the second largest town in this Republic, and its name, in the Bashkir language, means “Mouth of the Sterlya River”.  This town started its history in the early 1700’s as a post office town, under Catherine the Great.  It is now a major industrial city with a good transport system, and good infrastructure.

In order to practice law in this great town, the vic will have to pass an exam.  One wishes her success, with some well-intentioned advice:  “Study study study!  Study hard, and don’t drink!”

This entry was posted in Breaking News, Human Dignity, True Crime and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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