Police and Radical Activists Clash in Kyiv and Cherkasy, 22 Police Officers Injured
National Police initiated two criminal proceedings under two provisions. Minister of Interior Affairs condemns violence towards policemen
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
On March 9 in both Kyiv and Cherkasy, far right protestors and police clashed in large demonstrations that injured 22 police officers and hospitalized 19 of those. This was reported by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
“By this morning, 10 am, 22 policemen applied to a hospital with injuries as a result of a clash. 19 of them were laid up,” said the press release.
As Interfax Ukraine reported, several hundreds of members of the political party National Corps and the “Natsionalni Druzhyny” movement gathered at the building of President’s Administration on Saturday, in central Kyiv. They demanded that the officials named in a reported corruption scandal involving State Enterprise Ukroboronprom be brought to justice.
Activists of the same organizations attended a meeting in Cherkasy, where President Petro Poroshenko departed to participate in a commemorative rally in tribute of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. They were trying to break through the police cordon, using tear gas and setting off fireworks.
According to the press office of the National Police, two criminal proceedings have been initiated under two provisions of Criminal Code: Threat or violence against an employee of the law-enforcement body and Hooliganism.
Minister of Interior Affairs, Arsen Avakov, wrote on his Facebook page, that persons responsible for those acts of violence will be punished without references either due to military merits, or “leniency due to an understanding of the reasons of a public outbreak.”
Avakov wrote, that: “Righteous anger about corruption is fair, but can it lead to other criminal acts? Obviously not. Obviously, many of the aggressive young men sought hardcore, not justice.”
According to Radio Liberty, the investigation on media outlet Bihus.Info’s program Nashi Hroshi alleged that Ihor Hladkovskyy, the son of a formerly close Poroshenko ally, Oleh Hladkovskyy, the former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, organized a ring to smuggle spare military-equipment parts from Russia in 2015, a year after Moscow seized Ukraine’s Crimea region and threw its support behind militant separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The investigation alleged that state defense facilities purchased the smuggled spare parts from private companies linked to Ihor Hladkovskyy and his friends at highly inflated prices. It claimed that Ukroboronprom, the state concern that supervises defense industry production facilities, knew the origin of the smuggled parts but agreed to buy them. According to the journalist investigators, one of the alleged deals of Ihor Hladkovskiy and his associates was reselling AN-26 aircraft parts from Russia to Ukroboronprom with a sevenfold increase in their list price.