This is a study of networking and personalisation of relations. In four cases I show how my Ukrainian informants use their personal networks to get better quality service and spend less time in encounters with an impersonal bureaucracy, such as medical healthcare. When personal links to bureaucratic services are missing, relations with an official can be personalised by giving some kind of personal gift, and thereby create a reciprocal debt. Being in a reciprocal relationship, the official must render a service not only according to his or her professional duties, but also according to personal obligations. In one of the cases I analyse how giving an official a bottle of alcohol underlines symbolically such aspects like personal friendship, generosity and trust. Networking and the personalisation of relations would in a Western formalistic context most likely be called corrupt practices. However, the analysis is placed within a framework of the Soviet past, where obtaining scarce goods through personal networks, known as blat, was a way of coping with the Soviet 'economy of scarcity'. Further, I analyse networking and the personalisation of relations from an anthropological perspective, and thus base the analysis on my informants' own valuations of their acts. Through a short review of the public discourse on corruption in Ukrainian mass media, I emphasis that taking a cultural perspective also demands an acknowledgement of the fact that there are many 'natives' and just as many 'points of views'. The aim is therefore not to reach any definition of corruption, but rather to point at some of the problems involved when categorising different acts as corrupt.