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Oksana Makar Dies at 18: Victim of Horrific Rape and Abuse Unites Ukraine

Oksana Makar Dies at 18: Victim of Horrific Rape and Abuse Unites Ukraine

Oksana Makar endured a horrific attack that left her with fatal injuries, and now her death is causing uproar in her country, Ukraine. Authorities have released two of the three men charged in the attack, leading to protests and calls for justice.

Makar was raped by a group of three men who then attempted to strangle her to death. When that failed, she was wrapped in a blanket and set on fire; a passerby found her body and taken to a local hospital with 55 percent of her body covered in burns.

Doctors worked to save her life, amputating both feet and an arm. She was able to make a video describing her ordeal with her mother, Tetyana Surovitska. In it she asks for justice to be served and names her attackers.

The three men were arrested but released.

Ukrainian papers have reported that Makar's attackers' parents had political connections and were given special treatment.

"Unfortunately, this situation is typical of most post-Soviet countries when either connections or corruption is used: A high-ranking official makes a call or money is paid to a senior police official, and a person who committed a serious crime is set free," political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko told the Huffington Post. "The Ukrainian justice system is dependent on those with power and money."

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich tasked a team to investigate Makar's case; consequently, the three men were rearrested. However, that has not appeased any people in Ukraine who still want more done in the case.

Makar's story struck a nerve with citizens, and now her death has strengthened the calls for justice. Her mother is crying out for justice as well.

"Where is justice?" she asked a local TV station. "Is it because I don't have cars and apartments and connections and I cannot turn to anyone?"

"She loved life so much, but they destroyed her body, her soul and her spirit," Surovitska told the Huffington Post. "They destroyed my child."


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