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Whilst in a state of purdah – security for polling day

October 26, 2014

Whilst Ukraine enters a state of purdah, and all electioneering has thus ended, in keeping with the spirit of an official and lawfully required end to campaigning, there will be no mention of the election – as far as voting, outcomes, infringements and speculative coalitions are concerned.

However, related in the current circumstances is the issue of security.

As if proof were required of that last tweet, the SBU in Odessa last evening arrested 11 people, including 2 serving members of the Primorsky (the central rayon) police department.

All allegedly part of the “Odessa Liberation Army”, with SBU sources claiming these 11 were the “Duma” – by which it is inferred inner council responsible for the organisation and planning of subversive activities in Odessa, prior to, on, and beyond election day.

It would seem quite clear that the arrests have been left as close to polling day as possible to cause maximum disruption within the “OLA” and prevent a renewed, connected and capable leadership structure being reinstalled had the arrests occurred earlier.  An attempt at effectively decapitating the organisation – temporarily at least – in the most timely and effective manner with regard democratic outcomes.  Somewhat textbook counter-terrorist policy, not to mention decent intelligence work.

That is not to say polling will go without incident tomorrow.  Single mandate seat 136 looks a possible candidate for problems – albeit not necessarily “separatist/Kremlin backed”.  Seat 136 issues, if they occur, will be due to bad blood between candidates and the crescendo of a dirty campaign for that particular seat.

Nevertheless, whilst external interested parties may rightly fret over the possibilities of subversive actors and actions (externally or internally sponsored) – the local populous and security services, if somewhat expectant of problems, seem quite determined not to be deterred.

Naturally, it is hoped that tomorrow runs without illegal incident – but as hope is not a strategy, there at the very least appears to be some tactics in play from the security services.

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