by Kanykei Tursunbaeva – journalist, the Journalistic Center of Germany BDFJ.
The main concern was about the establishment of private armed and subordinate units in Ukraine by local municipal authorities – “Municipal guards”… The ideology of the “Municipal Guard” is to attack and seize the territory. It must be emphasized that the instructors and ideologists of the Municipal guard of the Odessa City Administration are former officers of assault forces,who have no experience and skills in guarding, but they have experience and skills in seizing enemy’s territory.
In the context of the topic of the fundamental freedoms and the right to the freedom of movement, on September 17, 2018 an attorney Olga Panchenko (head of the “Redut” law company) and journalist Miroslav Bekchiv (who was kidnapped by employees of the Municipal guard, beaten and was a subject to death threats on July 13) made a speech at OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Poland. The main concern was about the establishment of private armed and subordinate units in Ukraine by local municipal authorities – “Municipal guards”, which according to numerous facts, not only infringe citizens’ freedom of movement, but also other fundamental human freedoms, as provided in the Declaration of Human Rights, including article 29, paragraph 2.
Municipal guards are established by the municipal authorities as security companies which, according to the Law of Ukraine “On protection of the activities” are entitled to protect only, the property of citizens and legal entities, with which they have signed agreements about security guard activities. They are funded through local budgets, that is from taxes that are paid by the city residents to the local budget.
Nevertheless, municipal authorities empower Municipal guards with functions of executing orders of municipal bodies, along with functions for the dismantling and destruction of property of others without court judgments. Besides, Municipal guards use violence against civilians, in other words, they arrogate to themselves exclusive functions of the National Police of Ukraine. The proposition to ban and prohibit the presence of such organizations has been raised in the Ukrainian parliament not once, but so far there has been no decision taken.
The facilitators of the “Municipal Guard”:
Deputy Mayor of Odessa
Deputy Head of the “Municipal Guard Department”
Deputy Head of the municipal enterprise the “Municipal guard”
On July 13, 2018 in Odessa, employees of the Municipal guard abducted journalist Miroslav Bekchiv. He was forсefully put into the car, he was beaten and was a subject to death threats. In the last 3 months, among other things employees of the Municipal guard of Odessa City administration committed following unlawful acts in Odessa, Ukraine:
Destruction of the private property on the beach in Odessa (03/07/2018)
Outcome: material damage has been inflicted in the amount of about $ 50 000
Destruction of the private property in the hydro park Luzanovka in Odessa (10/07/2018)
Outcome: material damage has been inflicted in the amount of about $ 20 000
An attempt to seize the private property “Dom Pavlovyh” guest-house (10/07/2018)
Outcome: two entrepreneurs were physically injured, material damage has been inflicted in the amount of about $ 2 000
The attack on journalists and civilians in parking lot in Odessa (13/07/2018)
Outcome: as a result of using special means, physical injuries of different severity were inflicted onto three journalists and two civilians (one person had two broken ribs, the other had a broken jaw)
In such event, there was no official response of local authorities to such glaring facts, which demonstrates that the municipal authorities have no intention to preclude the illegal actions of aforementioned structures, which can only be done at the legislative level by means of a direct prohibition to establish such agencies by the municipal authorities. All acts of private property seizure were committed by the employees of the Municipal guard of Odessa City Administration without court judgments, which is contrary to the constitution of Ukraine.
The ideology of the “Municipal Guard” is to attack and seize the territory. It must be emphasized that the instructors and ideologists of the Municipal guard of the Odessa City Administration are former officers of assault forces,who have no experience and skills in guarding, but they have experience and skills in seizing enemy’s territory and sabotage attacks. As a matter of fact, even an armored troop carrier is present on the territory of the Municipal guard of the Odessa City Administration. These facts are of a particular concern, because such a structure as the Municipal guard, which is in the direct subordination to municipal authorities, can seize the power in the city at any moment, which will lead to horrific consequences for the fundamental freedoms of people.
BRDM-2 (Boyevaya Razvedyvatelnaya Dozornaya Mashina, “Combat Reconnaissance/Patrol Vehicle”)
The armored body of BRDM-2 corresponds to the 1st supply class of NATO – in the side projection and the 2nd supply class of NATO in the frontal part – that is, it provides protection against ordinary (without the thermo-hardened core) bullets of both automatic and rifle cartridges when firing at the side, at the stop, 155/152 mm frags shells from a distance of 100 meters. And provides protection against all types of rifle bullets (including ones with a heat-strengthened core) when firing at the stop – when hit in the frontal projection.
All photos from the personal archive of Kanykei Tursunbaeva