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22 October, 2013 19:03   ▪  

The number of protests against police in Ukraine hits a record-breaking rate in 2013

Ukraine has seen the most protests against impudence and inactivity of law enforcers in 2013, the January-September 2013 research of protests, repressions and concessions to protesters by the Center for Society Research reports. The research results are published on the Center’s website

The research lists 333 protests against impudence and inactivity of the police over the first nine months of 2013 which is 12% of all protests that took place in Ukraine during that period.

The Center experts note that there were no such sparks of popular dissent against the law enforcement system in Ukraine in previous years. The number of protests grew 25% in 2013 compared to 2012, and multiplied since 2010 and 2011.

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The research shows that the protest movement peaked in July when every third rally was against the police. This intensity was fueled by the incident in Vradiyivka, a village in Mykolayiv Oblast, where two police officers violently raped and beat a local woman. Before that, similar protests had been less intense and involved fewer protesters. Those had been caused by the death of student Ihor Indylo at  a Kyiv police station under obscure circumstances in June 2010; arrest of activists of radical rightist organizations who were accused of destroying the monument to Vladimir Lenin in Zaporizhzhia in January 2011; and the rape and murder of Oksana Makar, a Mykolayiv-born young woman, in March 2012.

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2013 saw another surge of protests against inactivity or abuse of office by the police. It was more massive than all the ones that had occurred previously. In September, journalists and activists in many cities all over Ukraine protested against inactivity of the police in investigating of the Gongadze murder case. Also, massive rallies took place all over Ukraine against the attack on Ukrainian fishers by Russian marine border patrol in the Sea of Azov on July 17 – as a result, two Ukrainian fishermen died, two disappeared, and one survived. 

“The research shows that the way mass media portray the protesters as an aggressive group of people who storm into police stations is not true in most cases,” the monitoring report states. “Quite on the contrary, as Ukrainians protest against inactivity or impudence of the police, confrontation or violence is used less often. From the beginning of 2013, only 4% of such protests have been of violent nature. Overall, 7% of all protests were violent. In 15% of protests against the police the protesters used non-violent but confrontational tactics. Overall, they did so in 19% of all protests (meaning not just those against the police but all others as well).  Property was damaged in 4% of protests against the police and 6% of all protests in 2013. In 17 out of 100 such protests, the protesters faced negative repressive reaction from the government.”

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