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Ukraine rife with police defections and disloyalty — Kiev government adviser

August 06, 2014, 15:20 UTC+3 KIEV
A mere “10-15% of police personnel” remained loyal to the authorities in Kiev, he says
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

KIEV, August 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Morale and loyalty in Ukraine's police force has hit rock-bottom, demonstrated by the defection of a large group of officers in Donetsk region to the self-proclaimed breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said a senior official working with the government in Kiev.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, told the 112 Ukraine television news channel that 300 Ukrainian police had offered their services to the separatist authorities. A mere “10-15% of police personnel” remained loyal to the authorities in Kiev, he said.

His comment follows an assertion by the interior minister, facing criminal prosecution in Russia, that thousands of Ukrainian police would have to be replaced.

On his Facebook page, Avakov said ministry estimates indicated that substitutes were needed for nearly 20,000 officers and men who had either deserted or discredited themselves since Kiev’s crackdown on secessionist south-east regions began last spring.

Among those needing replacement were personnel who had been required to take lie detector tests, and failed.

Detention awaits Avakov in Russia after Moscow’s Basmanny court issued a warrant for his arrest in June, suspected of complicity in the use of “prohibited means and methods of warfare”.

Also high-profile on Russia’s wanted list is Ukrainian multi-millionaire Igor Kolomoisky, an active supporter of what Kiev argues is an “anti-terrorist operation” against local militias in the Donetsk coal-mining and industrial area.

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