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Special task unit Storm fails to be set up in Odessa due to lack of funding

April 24, 2014, 19:17 UTC+3 24
The police chief asked to increase funds to maintain the special unit
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ODESSA, April 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Formation of the Interior Ministry’s special task unit Storm in Odessa had failed, chief of Ukrainian Interior Ministry's regional department Petro Lutsuk said on Thursday. The unit was planned to ensure public order.

It was planned to form a force of 500 people with monthly pay of 500 hryvnia (about $40) for each. The local department was expected at its expense to provide uniform and equipment, complete the construction of the building for them and pay them. When the formation of the unit was announced, there were wishing people, but finally only 18 were enrolled, Latsuk told deputies of the regional council. Psychologists found many volunteers unfit for the service, he added.

The police chief asked to increase funds to maintain the special unit or find people ready to work on such terms.

The governor of the Odessa region Vladimir Nemirovsky said there was no money in the budget because of the crisis in the country, but it might be received from entrepreneurs. There was an agreement with business circles to provide money to pay to 300 people, he said.

Latsuk on Thursday demanded to withdraw armed radical activists from public organizations sent from Kiev, who independently set up checkpoints around Odessa and destabilized the situation.

"Since many people were left without supervision in Kiev, the decision was taken to send the groups to Odessa. We do not need them. They arrived and destabilize the situation," Latsuk said.

The groups set up 12 checkpoints with more than 500 people rotating on duty there. They already had several brawls with passing Odessa residents and guests, he said.

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