Dan­ger­ous cops

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

On May 31, two off-duty po­lice of­fi­cers in the Kyiv Oblast town of Pereyaslav-Kh­mel­nyt­sky were drinking and shoot­ing at tin cans, when al­legedly one of them ac­ci­den­tally shot a 5-year-old boy in the head. Ini­tially, lo­cal law en­force­ment claimed that the boy, Kyrylo Tli­avov, had fallen and hit his head on as­phalt. Later, in the hos­pi­tal, doc­tors dis­cov­ered that he had been shot. On June 3, Tli­avov died from his wounds, spark­ing out­rage. Peo­ple protested in front of the In­te­rior Min­istry in Kyiv and the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion. Some called for In­te­rior Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov to re­sign. To the an­gry cit­i­zens, Tli­avov’s death was yet an­other of many sig­nals that re­form of law en­force­ment has failed.

As in­te­rior min­is­ter, Avakov is re­spon­si­ble.

In 2015, the coun­try re­placed its cor­rupt, Soviet-style mili­tia with a mod­ern po­lice force. That change has shown to be mainly cos­metic. Too many old-guard po­lice of­fi­cers still have their jobs. The Se­cu­rity Ser­vice of Ukraine re­mains an out-of-con­trol agency, while other law en­force­ment agen­cies are bloated and in­tru­sively in­ter­fere with le­git­i­mate busi­ness ac­tiv­ity to se­cure bribes. Mean­while, se­ri­ous crimes go un­in­ves­ti­gated or un­solved.

When the next Verkhovna Rada is seated af­ter par­lia­men­tary elec­tions on July 21, a ma­jor item of busi­ness needs to be re­place­ment of Avakov, the in­te­rior min­is­ter since 2014, with some­one more com­pe­tent and com­mit­ted to re­form.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ukraine

© PressReader. All rights reserved.