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When the police side with the protesters, power is ruined

Radekhiv policemen on the tribune of Maidan protesters. (Credit / Radiownet.pl / via Euromaidan)
Radekhiv policemen on the tribune of Maidan protesters. (Credit / Radiownet.pl / via Euromaidan)

(BRUSSELS2) This photo of around fifty police officers from the town of Radekhiv (*), police chief at the head and in uniform, who arrived on Maidan Square yesterday (February 21), applauded by the demonstrators, and mounted on the platform, is the most symbolic of the democratic revolution which is taking place in Ukraine, and in kyiv in particular.

The rallying of the Ministry of the Interior

The very official press release published by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry a few minutes ago this Saturday (February 22) confirms this state of mind. It marks a complete change in the police, a real revolution, and if not a complete rallying to the opposition movement, at least a very clear evolution.

A police who “share the desire for change”

« The police are at the service of the population” writes the ministry and “fully shares the desire of citizens for rapid changes ". She " bows, above all, to the memory of the victims ". The ministry also calls for national unity. In these moments " of commemoration " it's about " avoid friendly fire " and of " maintain (a spirit of) national reconciliation, protection of health and life “citizens as their” security ».

A call for national unity and to avoid anarchy

The press release (to download right here!, in Ukrainian) ends, however, with a vibrant appeal to the population to avoid too much anarchy. “The transition to a parliamentary form of government must not create chaos and bring society into disorder and anarchy. Police call for joint efforts to ensure public order in the country, to avoid destroying infrastructure created over the years. We will have " always need people to protect against any unlawful encroachment ».

A democratic, independent and European Ukraine!

The most important thing is at the end. The press release ends with a vibrant call for unity to create a democratic and European state. Let us join forces to truly create a state of law, democratic, independent and European! Glory to Ukraine! » Compared to the press releases of previous days which called for the fight against terrorism, we can see the intensity of the changes….

Comment: The end of a certain regime?

In an authoritarian state, where democratic sentiment is struggling to take hold, where the free press has some difficulty in existing, that men in uniform agree to challenge authority in this way is a strong sign. More than the final stage of a confrontation, it is a signal to all those who can legitimately fear power, that fear has changed sides. The statement published today on the Ukrainian police website is another signal, a confirmation that a page is being turned in Ukraine.

Note that a new Minister of the Interior (member of Yulia Tymoshenko's party), Arsen Avakov, was appointed, on Saturday, as head of the Ministry of the Interior by the Rada (Parliament), a decision adopted with a clear majority by 275 votes out of 324 parliamentarians as announced by the Ukrainian press agency Interfax.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Read also: Souvenir of Prague November 1989…

(*) A small town located in the west of Ukraine, in the district (Oblast) of Lviv, the main town of the protests

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).