20 January 2018, Saturday, 6:20

Aleh Vouchak: Berkut officers can train Belarusian riot police


Berkut officers can teach the Belarusian police how disperse the Maidan protests.

Aleh Vouchak, a former prosecution investigator and head of the Legal Assistance to Citizens, expressed this opinion in an interview with charter97.org.

– Media report that officers of closed Berkut, a special regiment of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, are admitted to the Belarusian riot police without competition. Is it possible legally?

– The law on the internal affairs bodies clearly says that only citizens of Belarus can serve in such bodies. Of course, there are fast procedures to obtain Belarusian citizenship, but it needs time. Everything is possible in our country. The riot police have been experiencing a deficit of staff for the last 18 months. Media wrote about it. Berkut officers are reliable people, after all. It's possible that they are not officially registered as officers of the Belarusian internal affairs bodies and work as mercenaries. Moreover, Belarus is known as the country that hides criminals suspected of committing crimes in their home countries, for example, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Former interior minister of Ukraine Vitaliy Zakharchanka is reported to have fled through the Homel region. I don't rule out that more people will flee after the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko.

– What benefits can the Belarusian authorities receive by hiring Berkut officers?

– The officers, who were involved in the Maidan protests, have excellent experience, also psychological, of how to fight against protesters, how to attack, retrieve and so on. They had a lot of practice during four months. They can instruct and train the Belarusian riot police ahead of the “election” and protests in 2015. The Belarusian authorities fear the repetition of Kyiv protests in the country.