2,000 Ukrainians, youth and sports, are sworn in hand on heart: the new traffic police and city formed by the United States, wants incorruptible and “symbol of reform” that the government promises since the uprising of Maidan.
Black uniform, badge brand new shining in the sun, new police officers, including 20% women, sing the national anthem on the Place Sainte-Sophie, in the center of Kiev, attended by President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk , the mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.
“Believe me, your task will not be easier than that of the soldiers in the Donbass”, where the pro-Western Ukrainian troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists in April 2014 in a conflict that has claimed more than 6,500 dead, launches their Mr. Poroshenko, whose government is criticized for the almost total absence of reforms promised after the overthrow of the corrupt pro-Russian regime of Viktor Yanukovych in February, 2014.
That of the police, to which only 2% of Ukrainians completely trust, is among the priority projects to convince the Ukrainians on the goodwill of power.
“The main risk area is not one where the bullets whistle, but where rustle tickets,” he said, referring to police practices of the road known for extorting bribes.
The commander Oleksandr Fatsevitch, 28, who fought in the east has taken the lead in this new structure.
“Each of you has become the symbol of Ukrainian reforms,” said Mr. Poroshenko.
“Best of the best ‘
The new police officers, who had to pass stringent tests to prove their fitness before being recruited, contrast with plump policemen they will replace.
The thirty Valeria Volochtchouk abandoned his legal career and stewardess to convert back to police.
“I would like people’s attitudes towards law enforcement changes, we have to do we trust. We are the first, it’s difficult, but we take responsibility, “says the young woman, blond chignon under the cap.
“The relationship between people and the police are now unacceptable,” added Oleksandr Okhrimenko, 31, who abandoned his post in the Ministry of Culture.
“Here, these are the best of the best. We want our country changes, “says Artem Tovstenko, 24, a former employee of a transportation company.
Selected from more than 33,000 candidates, 2,000 police officers have been trained since March by US police. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland had attended one of the training during his visit to Kiev in mid-May.
The United States has paid $ 15 million for this reform and other countries like Japan, Australia and Canada have also contributed.
Similar units will be deployed in Odessa (South), Kharkiv (East) and Lviv (West).
This reform is overseen by Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zgouladzé, a Georgian Ukrainian naturalized, convinced that the police are “the base” of the state system.
She had been in charge of a similar reform conducted successfully in Georgia’s pro-Western reformist President Mikhail Saakashvili, himself recently appointed governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa.