Tag Archives: Police

A #Guide to #Ukraine’s #Fighting #Forces

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko visits the headquarters of Ukrainian’s anti-terrorist operation near Izium in Kharkiv Oblast and finalizes a plan with Ukraine’s army on July 8 for a military offensive against Kremlin-backed insurgents.Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko visits the headquarters of Ukrainian anti-terrorist operation near Izium in Kharkiv Oblast and finalizes a plan with Ukraine’s army on July 8 for a military offensive against Kremlin-backed insurgents. More than 200 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the fighting since mid-April, but Ukraine’s fighting forces are showing gains. They have liberated the Donetsk Oblast cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk and have promised to free Donetsk and Luhansk soon. © Anastasia Vlasova

With the West wimping out on tough sanctions against Russia or significant military aid to Kyiv, Ukraine is pretty much going it alone in defending the nation against the Kremlin-backed war that began with the Feb. 27 military invasion of Crimea.

More than 30,000 troops are engaged in what increasingly looks like a fight to the finish in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Forces have been marshaled from the army, police and border guard.

Also, some 2,000 of them are volunteers who provided muscle during the EuroMaidan Revolution that succeeded on Feb. 22 in ousting President Viktor Yanukovych, who is hiding from mass murder charges in Russia.

Andriy Parubiy, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, says their presence is crucial for bolstering the nation’s broken army and raising its combat spirit. “People came forward asking for weapons and saying we will fight,” Parubiy recalls. “We had to find a mechanism to channel this. The fact that we managed to direct this huge energy of Maidan towards protection of the motherland, this helped a lot.”

The nation has 22 volunteer battalions, but only eight to 10 of them are taking part in the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine at any given time. They are all part of the official law enforcement structure and take orders. Their names, however, are informal, a reference to their revolutionary history.

Fighters of the Donbas Battalion train at an Interior Ministry base in Novi Petrivtsi near Kyiv on June 5.Fighters of the Donbas Battalion train at an Interior Ministry base in Novi Petrivtsi near Kyiv on June 5. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)

“These are the guys who stood on Maidan,” says Parubiy, who was in charge of self-defense troops during the revolution. After taking on his new role, he continued to coordinate the self-defense units and oversaw their training and incorporation into the formal structure of Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies.

Parubiy describes them as “high level professionals” and says that “none of the battalions act on oligarch orders, or act on their own.”  Continue reading

Ukraine: Maidan no longer a safe place for journalists?

Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)

On July 2 a Channel 5 film crew came under attack on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, with a cameraman injured.  The film crew explain that they were taking footage in order to ascertain whether the barricades at present on Horodetsky St are safe.  The aggressive behaviour was explained as being because the people on Maidan did not want their faces shown, and because they didn’t trust the work of the press.  Four young men in camouflage gear demanded that the footage be wiped, and when the cameraman refused, used force against him. Channel 5 also reported that an STB film crew had been threated.

The police report states that at around 13.00 on Tuesday the film crew arrived on Maidan Nezalezhnosti.  While working they were approached by the men in camouflage and told to stop filming and to delete the footage already filmed. When the cameraman refused, he was punched in the stomach by one of the men.  The four then fled, the police say.

Telekritika reports that this is not the first aggression against journalists trying to film on Maidan and near European Square since the EuroMaidan protests ended.

On June 20 members of the ‘self-defence’ unit whose headquarters is in Ukraine House were rough in throwing out an ICTV film crew and removed the footage they had filmed. The Shevchenkivsk District Prosecutor and police have launched an investigation over suspected obstruction of journalists carrying out their work.

On May 31 journalists were driven away from Maidan when they came to cover the work on removing the barricades. One man tried to block the camera of a streamer, while others were verbally aggressive.

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

#Ireland: #PSNI probe into reports #Derry man in #Syria

Eamon Bradley on horseback in the Middle East.Eamon Bradley on horseback in the Middle East.

The PSNI1 have confirmed they are making inquiries in response to reports that Derry man Eamon Bradley has turned up in Syria.

Searches are understood to have been conducted at the home of the 25-year-old on Thursday evening.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that specialist officers were deployed to an address in the Creggan estate, but it is unclear if any material was removed from the scene.

A PSNI spokesman would only confirm on Friday: “Police are making enquiries into reports of a Northern Ireland man in Syria.”

Eamon Bradley’s family were this week said to be growing increasingly concerned about his well-being since he disappeared several months ago.

It is understood the former St Joseph’s Boys School pupil had told his relatives he was going for a two week holiday to Turkey, but has not returned.

Reports suggest he has developed a strong interest in the Islamic faith over recent times.

Since he left, photographs have surfaced reportedly showing Eamon on horseback having grown a beard and wearing combat-type clothing and a headdress.

Another appears to shows him kneeling in a shelter with AK-47 assault style rifles bundled in front of him.

Eamon Bradley kneeling in a shelter with AK-47 assault style rifles bundled in front of him.
A woman at the address in Creggan declined to speak to the Journal when contacted on Thursday.

Derry Journal

  1. Police Service of Northern Ireland 

Crimean Summer Tourism Disaster

A woman advertising tours and trips for visitors in Yalta this month finds small crowds and few customers. A woman advertising tours and trips for visitors in Yalta this month finds small crowds and few customers. Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea has prompted many Ukrainians and international tourists to boycott vacations on the peninsula. The peninsula’s two million residents, who depend heavily on tourist spending, are heading for a bleak summer season. Less than half of last year’s six million tourists are expected this year. © Courtesy

SIMFEROPOL, Crimea – By this time, Simferopol railway station should be bustling with tourists hauling summer holiday luggage. Yet, it is remarkably empty.

The mini-bus to the seaside resort of Yalta was half empty, and the few people on it were all locals. The winding road that climbs over the Angarsky pass to the coast was largely free of traffic. Billboards along the route showed forlorn, tatty advertisements for Ukrainian firms that don’t exist anymore in Crimea, or  airlines that no longer fly here. About every fourth billboard was a poster urging people to vote in a referendum to join Russia that took place nearly three months ago.

On arriving in Yalta, the cafe of a smart hotel in a prime location near the seaside was closed.

“There you go: your first indication of how the tourist business is going this year,” said Ihor Brudny, the tour firm owner who had arranged a meeting here, with a resigned shrug.

Early June is usually a busy and hopeful time for Crimeans.

Half of the peninsula’s two million people make their living from tourism. And now they should be gearing up for floods of visitors – 6 million last year – who flock to the beaches and mountains from June to August, bringing their Ukrainian hryvnias, Russian rubles and, increasingly, dollars and euros.

This year, the Russian takeover of Crimea after a sham referendum in March that most the world didn’t recognize, has turned this world upside-down.

People walk near the seafront of Crimea’s famous resort city of Yalta on June 4.People walk near the seafront of Crimea’s famous resort city of Yalta on June 4. Continue reading

Kramatorsk women who defended her street forced into hiding

Brave Women forced into hiding  following threats.

The courageous women from Kramatorsk [Donetsk oblast] who forced armed pro-Russian militants to leave her street have been forced to seek shelter after receiving serious threats.

As reported,  the women can be seen on a video widely posted on the Internet telling these armed men to get the hell out of their street and to stop trying to use women and children as human shields.  One woman is heard repeating that she has two children and wants the militants out.

The video was, unfortunately, watched not only by those who applauded the women’s courage.  TSN reports that the family of Sofia Uspishna and her daughter seen on the video have been forced into hiding.

Sofia Uspishna began receiving phone calls threatening to kill them.  She says that people have responded and offered them refuge, and that Ukrainian soldiers have also got in touch and promised to help.  They do not for the moment plan to return home.

It is, unfortunately, not surprising that no mention is made of the police who have not been active in supporting citizens against militants’ aggression.  In the Luhansk region, some attacks by armed militants on election commissions have taken place either with obvious coordination with local police, or active participation by police called in to guard the premises.

Sofia Uspishna was heard on the video calling a police help line, giving the registration number of the min-van.  There is no evidence at all that this was taken up.  It remains to be seen whether the apparent change in position and public condemnation of the militants by Donetsk billionaire Rinat Akhmetov make a difference.  His influence in the area is undisputed with the question having been only how he uses it.

Halya Coynash