A June 10 post on the US Department of State’s Official Blog revealed that the Department of Justice and Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) are running a police training program in Kiev, Ukraine. The program has trained at least 100 Ukrainian police instructors to oversee a new 2,000-member patrol unit as part of a broader effort to “fundamentally change the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens of Ukraine.”
The State Department blog post stressed that it views strengthening the regime’s security forces as a critical priority of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It notes, “The arrival of American law enforcement officers to help train over 100 new Ukrainian patrol police instructors has been key in advancing our goals in Ukraine and deepening our relationships with the new government.”
The post, written by Adriana Cosgriff, claims that the Kiev regime requested US assistance in the creation of this program in early 2015, to which Washington promptly responded. The first step involved the Obama Justice Department in rewriting Ukrainian police regulations. Cosgriff writes, “Working with the US Department of Justice, INL helped the Ukrainians reform internal structures and create new policies and procedures.”
The US then sent police instructors from the federal, state and local levels “to train the Ukrainian tactical instructors on the ground” and supply unspecified “critical equipment for the new force.”
Without stating whether the program is ongoing, Cosgriff writes, “Expert police trainers from Reno, Nevada, the California Highway Patrol, and Dayton, Ohio, traveled to Ukraine to teach tactical skills training and mentor the instructors as they train the first new cadets. In three waves, the officers spent several months in Kyiv, working alongside the Ukrainian team that developed curriculum and tactical skills training… Americans stayed to mentor and observe this groundbreaking training take place.”
Prior to last week’s blog entry, there has been limited mention of the program in the press. Last month, Sputnik News, a Russian state media web site, reported that the 2,000-strong force will operate 200 auto patrols and 100 foot patrols, replacing Kiev’s current traffic police and patrol guard service.
The article cited Ukraine’s deputy interior minister, Eka Zguladze, as saying that the unit’s patrol cars had been provided by Japan and the officers’ new uniforms by the United States, while noting that in March, “Washington signed an agreement with Kiev to provide financial assistance worth $26 million to reform Ukraine’s law enforcement system.”
Reno, Nevada was chosen to provide police trainers due to connections with former Reno Assistant Police Chief Ron Glensor, who works with the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) Regional Project Office in Kiev. A branch of the Department of Justice, ICITAP currently has 28 country programs, conducting police training worldwide.
In late February, Reno’s City Council, which was not informed by Police Chief Steve Pitts about the departure of five officers to Ukraine, voted to have the officers return to Reno. At the hearing, Pitts read a statement from Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk declaring: “This training is historic for police reforms and will establish the foundation for a ‘New Professional Police’ for our country. If these reforms stop, it will be to the disappointment of 50 million people who have been waiting patiently for change.”
In fact, if Yatsenyuk is seeking out the expertise of American police, who are responsible for the deaths of an average of two people each day, it is to crush growing social opposition within Ukraine itself. After the deployment of heavily-armed, militarized police units to suppress protests in Ferguson, Missouri last year, and the wave of police shootings across the United States, it is clear to both the US Department of Justice and the Kiev regime that US police trainers are fit to train the security forces of a far-right government.