22 October 2016

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Week’s milestones. Resonance killings, tough Rada, and controversial law

The murder of two patrol officers in the city of Dnipro has stirred up the Ukrainian public. Leader of pro-separatist Oplot movement Yevgeny Zhilin was shot dead outside Moscow. The Verkhovna Rada has deemed the State Duma of the Russian Federation illegitimate. Darker clouds amass over the so-called "Savchenko law".

The death of two patrol police officers in the city of Dnipro this weekend has caused a massive debate on the quality of the very patrol police, as we saw the social networking phenomenon as evident as ever. A huge army of "experts" spat out a variety of assessment comments, not bothering to wait for the official data to be released, only responding to the resonance the incident had created. The likely involvement in the tragedy of a former fighter from Tornado battalion added even more excitement and contributed to unbundling of the UAnet users into the usual teams: the adepts of ‘zrada’ [‘treason’ -  passive-aggressive pessimists who see nothing but treachery in the actions of the Ukrainian government and its allies] and ‘peremoha’ [‘victory’]. The law enforcers responded swiftly enough, and the alleged offender was detained later the same day. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, against the background of the terrible tragedy, proposed to introduce in the legislation the presumption of regularity of the police. At the same time, he is in no rush to respond to wide criticism in relation to recertification of police officers.

At the beginning of past week, the leader of a terrorist organization Oplot, Yevgeny Zhilin, was gunned down on the outskirts of Moscow. The man was one of those directly involved in promoting the "Russian spring" in the east of Ukraine. The murder of the well-known separatist by an assassin stressed that the Russian puppets should not expect peace and tranquility even on the territory of Russia.

The Verkhovna Rada has surprised many experts with its decision to recognize the Russian State Duma, elected on September 18, as illegitimate. The reason for this step was the holding of elections in the territory of the Russian-occupied Crimea. While the majority of civilized countries did not recognize the elections exclusively on the seized Ukrainian peninsula, the Ukrainian MPs recognized as illegitimate the entire lower chamber of the Russian Parliament. However, the Opposition Bloc, half of the independent MPs, Yulia Tymoshenko,and Nadia Savchenko have not supported the move. The next logical step will be to report the Rada’s decision to all international organizations where the Duma members take part. As early as in October, a battle will flare up at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - the most authoritative body on the continent, where the Russian delegation will try to return.

Besides that, the legislators did not spoil their voters with effective performance. The dismissal of more than 400 judges has passed almost unnoticed. Unfortunately, almost two years after the election of the current convocation of the Verkhovna Rada, the "parties of the Maidan" are in no hurry to implement the numerous sweet electoral promises, preferring to imitate legislative activity. A rumble between MPs Volodymyr Parasyuk and Oleksandr Vilkul, which later transformed into a ridiculous attack on the SUV of Vilkul’s bodyguards is a good example of shifting senses and actions required with unbridled populism.

Meanwhile, the Verkhovna Rada in the near future will have to take a decision regarding the ever-so scandalous "Savchenko law." The author of the regulation that allowed hundreds of criminals to leave  penitentiary facilities early is going to defend the law’s credibility. The most consistent opponents of this law are Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov and Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko. In the context of sharply deteriorating crime situation, introducing at least some amendments to the law would be a justified step.

Yevgeny Magda

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