Dr. Christof Rheinbay                                                                                    25 March 2016

 

 

Dear Clients,

 

During recent months there have been a lot of changes in economic and political environment in Ukraine, which is typical for a country undergoing a severe crisis.

Hereunder I provide some information on statistics only. If referring to statistics mentioned in this report, please check original sources, e.g. website of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine (www.mvs.gov.ua), website of General Prosecutor (www.gp.gov.ua), and the website of the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine (www.ukrstat.gov.ua). Hereunder, I try to spread some personal impressions, information from our own observations and from background information provided by the police on the:

 

Current Security Situation in Ukraine.

 

 

1.      Politic and Economic Situation in Ukraine

2.      Crime in Kyiv and Ukraine

3.      Travelling/ Regions of Ukraine

4.      Attitude to Foreigners

5.      Police Reforms

 

 

Ad 1) Politic and Economic Situation in Ukraine

 

In 2015 again GDP shrank and people became poorer:

 

-          Real GDP for 2015 compared to 2014 comprised 90,1%;

-          Real disposable income of population decreased by 26% in 2015 compared to 2014.

 

(all data based on territory of Ukraine without Crimea and ATO)

 

People have little hope for improvement as currently the value of the UAH against Euro is further falling (from 25,00 UAH for 1 Euro in November 2015 to currently 30,00 UAH for 1 Euro).

 

People have less trust in the president and government, as stealing and corruption seems to continue. On 3 February 2016 the Ukrainian minister of economy Aivaras Abromavicius has quit over corruption. On 10 February 2016 Victor Shokin has been re-appointed as Ukraine's prosecutor general. For many people this was an absolute scandal.

 

Rumors have spread that after the Orange Revolution and Maydan Revolution, soon mass riots might start again.

 

Ad 2) Crime in Kyiv and Ukraine

 

When people become poorer and more desperate crime increases, especially property incidents.

 

The year 2014 was marked by the Maydan Revolution, and was accompanied by much civil unrest. Therefore, hereunder we compare data on theft from 2013 and 2015:

 

 

Recorded Incidents

In 2013

Recorded Incidents

In 2015

+/- %

Theft from warehouses, shops etc.

14.841

19.970

+ 35 %

Theft from Passengers in Public Transport

2.105

2.624

+ 25 %

Burglary from Apartments

17.450

21.376

+ 22 %

Burglary from Houses (country houses, dachas etc.)

4.523

6.487

+ 44 %

Theft from cars

9.633

10.789

+ 12 %

Pickpocketing

55.354

67.856

+ 23%

 

(all data based on territory of Ukraine without Crimea and ATO)

 

Especially burglary from houses is a greater threat. Nearly all people living in residential areas have heard about burglary in their neighborhood. Often criminals rob houses when residents are at home, in order to get information where valuables are hidden.

 

The increased terror threat is also very worrying.

 

While in 2013 SBU registered 4 terror acts, in 2015 SBU registered 349 terror acts.

Thereby authorities also register bomb calls and false alarms as terror acts.

 

While in 2013 SBU monitored 1 terror group, in 2015 SBU monitored 567 terror groups.

 

In November 2015 Islamic State included Ukraine in its list of enemies (currently there are approximately 60 countries mentioned). However, police authorities are much more worried about Russian and Ukrainian terror groups.

 

Most terror threats are false alarms.  Terror groups focus on targets of public importance and sites where there are many people.

 

In recent months nearly all major shopping malls in Ukraine have been fully evacuated 1 to 5 times. There were several false alarms concerning subway stations, dams, Kyivvodocanal, and Kyivenergo. Several hotels and public buildings have been evacuated. Terror threats at the airports and railway station happen so frequently, that management refrains from evacuation after terror warnings. Airports and railway stations are searched during operations. Otherwise, regular operations would not be possible anymore as terror threat occurs so often.

 

There have been very few bomb incidents. Targets were prominent politicians, Russian companies (Sberbank), hotels, embassy buildings, public administrations. Fortunately, there were no people killed by terror incidents.

 

Polices Forces do not increase capacity accordingly to the growing terror threat. E.g. there is only 1 bomb team in Western Ukraine. Thus, when several bomb alarms happen at a time, it needs up to several hours until that bomb team is on site.

 

 

Ad 3) Travelling/ Regions of Ukraine

 

Travelling by car is very dangerous.

 

èAuthorities still do not use automated radar speed traps; Patrol police stops drivers very rarely with speed- and alcohol control. As a result, drivers exceed speed limits by far.

 

èStreets are in a very poor condition with potholes even in the city centers.

 

èThere are no regular, mandatory inspections of the technical condition of cars and trailers. As a result, often vehicles are in very bad technical condition.

 

Accidents happen often and are often fatal.

 

For drawing a comparison:

 

In 2015 in Germany less people died on the streets than in Ukraine, although Germany’s population is twice as large.

 

 

 

Population

People killed by traffic accidents

In 2015

Ukraine

42 Million

3.970

Germany

81 Million

3.475

 

(all data based on territory of Ukraine without Crimea and ATO)

 

Driving at night should be avoided; driving by day time needs much attention.

 

 

Ad 4) Attitude to Foreigners

 

Nationalism and support for right wing parties are increasing all over Europe, and also in Ukraine.

 

On 3 November 2015, a mass brawl occurred in Lviv between fans of Swedish Football Club Malmö and fans of FC Shakthar.  Whereas football hooliganism all over Europe is widespread, for Ukraine such incidents are new. We all remember the very peaceful 2012 European Football Championship.

 

Nevertheless, Ukraine is still a safe country to travel for foreigners. Foreigners are suffering under increased crime as all people living in Ukraine; but foreigners are no special targets of terror groups and racially motivated crimes are not the subject of public concerns.

 

According to police statistics, in 2015 there has been 1 foreign citizen murdered on territory of Ukraine.

 

 

 

 

 

Ad 5) Police Reforms

 

Still Police Reforms primarily focus on Patrol Police.

 

So far, in half of the Oblast Centers, new Patrol Police forces are doing their duties (Kyiv, Lusk, Lviv, Ushgorod, Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnitsky, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson), staffed with young and well trained police officers and equipped with new vehicles.

 

Head of National Police, Ms. Katia Dekanoidze, announced that until the end of the current year the new Patrol Forces are on duty in all Oblast centers.

 

Activists for civil rights see the reform of the National Police as one of the few successes of Yatsenyuk´s government. Police officers of Patrol Police mostly abstain from corruption so far.

           

However, rising crime is also blamed on new police forces;

And, clear-up rate is worse than it has been earlier.

 

According to Deputy General Prosecutor Jury Sevruk, the main reason for the police forces’ poor performance is the ongoing rotation of police staff (see: Interview at Tele Channel 112 on 20 March 2016). Whereas Patrol Police is based on freshly recruited and recently trained people (at least in above mentioned Oblast centers), reform process in other police forces – such as criminal police, pre-trial investigation police – is still at the beginning. All police officers have to undergo a clearing process; officers, who do not pass clearing, will be replaced – this concerns the majority of current staff. Thus, the current staff’s motivation is low.  

 

 

Dear Clients, should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. If you note any wrong information in the above mentioned text, please let me know.

 

 

With best regards

Chr 

 

Dr. Christof Rheinbay