By Vitaly Portnikov
04.29.2014 21:12 espreso.TV
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Journalist Vitaliy Portnikov in his video blog on Espreso.tv discusses the collapse of Ukraine’s security system and the necessity to create a new one.
What is happening before our very eyes in Eastern Ukraine has also demonstrated a serious crisis in the local administrative structures. Nowadays many people are hurling accusations at the central government and security forces in Kyiv. Nevertheless, one should realize one simple fact: without the real engagement of the security forces in those areas which are now under attack by terrorists and saboteurs, we cannot expect a stabilization of the situation there.
Security forces are a mirror of the society in which they function and reflect who has real power and who makes the decisions. In Donetsk and Luhansk the power certainly does not lie with the Ukrainian government. We see quite clearly how the security forces are thoroughly influenced by local oligarchs, the family of the former president Viktor Yanukovych and finally the local elite, all of whom talk in Kyiv about national unity but, in Donetsk and Luhansk, do everything to raise their authority in the eyes of Kyiv or the eyes of Moscow.
Those who speak of “the police with the people” should recall the Maidan where the security forces were separated not into those who supported the protest and those who didn’t, but into those who were ready to beat and shoot their own countrymen and those who remained neutral. And all that in the Ukrainian capital which upheld the Maidan. We have to realize that the security furnished by the Ukrainian militia forces and other structures is an exaggeration. In a corrupt state, security forces are simply the oligarchs’ private police force.
That is why in recent times if you had to deal with either the police or a band of criminals, it was almost the same thing. Fear of those who are supposed to protect you – that is the normal condition of post-Soviet society. Why should it be otherwise in Donetsk and Luhansk when these regions were, for many decades, easy prey for organized criminal bands which, in the end, transformed into oligarchic rule? The very procedure of selecting persons for those organizations should provide for the installation of those who would protect the country and its citizens and not those who would protect oligarchic interests and look at a public office as an opportunity to become rich.
Naturally, there are also decent people within those organizations as we saw after Horlivka.
But that is not how the system works. The system must be reformed and its personnel must be changed. Another question: is all this possible under what is, in fact, martial law, constant claims about the situation by the Russian Federation, the appearance and ongoing recruitment of new saboteurs and mercenaries? This is a major question.
And so, we all have to learn a lesson from what we are witnessing and realize the fact that we have been citizens of a country in which there was never a real security force. Now we have to create that force and hope that it will protect us and keep order in our country.