Flux in the Avakov empire – The seeds of “Kemalism UA style”?November 14, 2016
Following almost seamlessly from yesterday’s entry, the issues surrounding Mrs Deeva and more to the point, the broader issues behind that incident that were raised, the resignation of Khatia Dekanoidze as head of the National Police on 14th November brings with it yet more flux within the Ministry of Interior.
Khatia Dekanoidze has been a stalwart of reform within the Ministry of Interior since her appointment, attempting to maintain police independence from political interference and implementing best practice. The national police, as it currently stands and is currently perceived by the public, will notice her absence for it is not an institution yet strong enough to insure its own independence.
In a democratic society of course, political parties, rule of law and State institutions are robust enough, have the institutional memory and culture that survives the change of any leader. It has to be said that at the current stage of development for the National Police that is simply not the position it finds itself in.
Hotly tipped as the new head of the National Police is Vadim Troyan, a former Azov Battalion deputy commander, one time member of the far right “Patriots of Ukraine” movement, appointed head of Kyiv police by Arsen Avakov in November 2014, and currently Deputy Head of the National Police.
There will naturally be those particularly cautious regarding his possible leadership of the National Police. It may well be that he can successfully compartmentalise his personal far right politics and fully separate them from how he would run the National Police. There is little in the public realm that would suggest he cannot – although what occurs privately and what has been mitigated by the influence of Khatia Dekanoidze is unknown. It is perhaps a matter of self-discipline for Mr Troyan of which he may be fully capable of meeting.
Whatever the case, no more can a genuinely independent national police serve a political ideology than it can serve the whims of a particular politician or biases of a police chief. Police independence is required to serve the public, and not simply parts of the public that may share a certain ideology or vote a certain way.
In short the police exist to consistently and impartially uphold the rule of law – and this is best done as a police service acting with the consent of the public, rather than as a police force imposed upon the public.
Clearly the police cannot be independent if it is overtly or covertly loyal to a particular politician, yet Mr Troyan is considered exceptionally close to Interior Minister Avakov. Both are Kharkiv natives and have had interaction there on and off since 2005. Clearly that interaction has been far more “on” than “off” in recent years after Minister Avakov plucked Mr Troyan from the Azov senior ranks and placed him in a top policing role.
Thus there are grounds for concern regarding the political neutrality of the National Police should he assume the role. Indeed the out-going Khatia Dekanoidze does not consider Mr Troyan a suitable replacement and publicly stated she considered him not to be a politically independent person. (The inference being he is a willful instrument of Minister Avakov.)
Is a reader then to look closely at the political empire of Arsen Avakov in a dramatically new light considering his disregard for law and procedures in appointing Mrs Deeva per yesterday’s entry and his maneuvering of those closely associated to him to the highest and most powerful positions within the ministry which he oversees?
Well perhaps – but should a reader’s view be so restricted to the obvious empire building and consolidation around Arsen Avakov?
If the aperture is widened to ideology, how many more Vadim Troyan’s are there across the “power ministries” quietly being placed within and rising up the ranks? And to where does it lead?
The “deep State” perhaps?
Or should a reader be mindful of the subtle creation of foundations for a “Kemalism/Ataturkism UA style” future State? Or at least the possibility thereof? If so who among the Ukrainian constituency understands the nuances of Kemalism and the six pillars therein?
There is then the question of just how it would manifest.
Something to mull over?