In recognition of bravery – DniproSeptember 26, 2016
The 22nd September witnessed the desperately sad sleighing of 2 police officers in Dnipro.
The incident was caught on CCTV.
Immediately after the release of the video, the following tweet was made.
This bus driver should be properly & officially recognised by both City & national institutions for his bravery during a policeman’s murder https://t.co/PkUdZ6ci5p
— Nikolai Holmov (@OdessaBlogger) September 25, 2016
The tweet was made not only to rightfully acknowledge the bravery and good citizenship of the bus driver, Valeriy Timonin, but also to play its part in insuring that the authorities are aware that modern policing occurs with the consent of the citizenry, and at its best with the support of its citizenry. Mr Timonin was evidently supportive and in the face of mortal danger and that had to be officially recognised.
He was indeed shot at at least twice looking at the holes in the front of his bus.
Thus his example demanded to be officially recognised both by the City of Dnipro but also the national authorities in an effort to encourage the constituency to actively support the police – never more so than in a situation where the commissioning of a crime is on-going and the police clearly require some assistance.
It may well be that the police reform is only half complete, the prosecutors office remains a corrupt and also political tool, and that the judiciary is for sale – but in circumstances where the police require assistance during the commission of a crime, a conscientious citizen sides with the rule of law regardless of a half-reformed police, or otherwise disreputable justice system. Certainly the thought of heroic recognition or reward does not feature at the time.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke
Rightly, it has come to pass that Mr Timonin’s heroics have been swiftly and formally recognised by the City of Dnipro and the National Police/Interior Ministry on 23rd September – an official day of mourning in Dnipro for the two fallen police officers.
So how was Mr Timonin’s community spirit acknowledged?
A Community Action Trust reward? No – And such a Trust providing reward to outstanding citizenry in support of the police probably doesn’t exit. Freedom of the City of Dnipro? Apparently not. A national award recognising good citizenship? Not quite.
62 year old Mr Timonin was rewarded with the presentation a gun. A Fort 17 pistol to be exact.
Quite what Mr Timonin is supposed to do with it is perhaps a question only Mr Timonin can answer.
It seems highly unlikely that he will happen to be passing the murder of police officers again any time soon. Such events are fortunately very rare even with the amount of unattributed/licenced weaponry seeping out from the ATO zone after more than 2 years of war with The Kremlin.
Thus keeping it in his bus on the very slim chance lightening strikes twice and he does witness the same deplorable event again, the ability to point and shoot and hopefully hit the right person, and not the wrong person, may not appeal to a 62 year old man living in a nation that still overwhelming is against its citizens wandering around with guns – even with a war in its east on-going,
Further the police patrolling the streets who he bravely tried to assist are not likely to encourage any more firearms on the streets of Ukraine than there currently are either.
How is he going to store it at home? Ukraine has legislation regarding the storage of legally held weapons (assuming the presenting authorities have actually provided him with a licence to go with it).
Perhaps he is a gun enthusiast. If not, at the age of 62, perhaps he will now become one. Converting bullets to brass and putting holes in targets can be quite fun as a hobby – although with a Fort 17 it is hardly an appropriate firearm for anything more than shooting single, aimed shoots at more than 30 meters or double-tap at more than 15 meters.
Whatever the case, at issue is not the acknowledgement of the brave act of Mr Timonin, but the actual reward itself when the government is actively trying to remove firearms from the streets and the majority of Ukrainians don’t want them on the streets. With some form of Community Action Trust reward, if Mr Timonin wanted to buy a gun he then could have (or perhaps Mrs Timonin may have preferred a new kitchen).
There will be many across Ukraine that will question the appropriateness of this reward as a form of recognition for the outstanding citizenry displayed by Mr Timonin.
Further, there will be others that consider a Fort 17 pistol is simply unworthy of his actions too – they cost about $240.
Thus it seems quite likely that whilst Mr Timonin will rightly be hailed as a hero and solid citizen across the nation, no differently than the two murdered police officers, both the appropriateness and the (cash) value of the reward given will probably turn out to be less than helpful for the image of the Ukrainian authorities – and for that they will have only themselves to blame.