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10th April – Ukraine and Odessa

April 7, 2017

A few weeks ago an entry appeared regarding the “unblocking” of Russian banks by the National Corpus (offspring of the Azov Battalion and Azov Civil Corps).

The “blocking” of banks capitalised by parent Russian banks being justified thus – “We are at war with Russia, and not with the Ukrainian citizens, but we are surprised by the behavior of those who in the third year of the war with Russia hold their savings in banks of the occupier. Therefore, we are for a short period unblocking branches of Russian banks……………however, we turn to them to show national solidarity with our common front against the aggressor.”

It appears that as of 10th April, the “blockade” resumes – presumably at the previous locations where it was once in place, namely Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Sumy and Zaporzhye.

Despite there clearly being no future for Russian banks in Ukraine with the NBU and National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) slowly easing them out after imposing restrictions on their interaction with parent Russian companies (Sberbank announced its departure from Ukraine a few days ago) the NBU has raised concerns with regard to the resumption of the “blockades”.

Naturally the NBU does not want to have to deal with any shocks to the banking system that it is not prepared for and able to manage effectively.  “The National Bank reiterates that any destabilizing actions against the banking system can not only lead to the deterioration of the investment climate, but also to the loss of the citizens of their deposits and the termination of the stable operation of the entire system.” – that notwithstanding further barbed comment regarding issues of rule of law, perceptions of the international community and assurances and obligations given to external onlookers.

It remains to be seen just how the police will deal with a right to assemble and protest, vis a vis the rights of businesses to operate, vis a vis the rights of the individuals that legitimately bank where they do.

In Odessa, where as yet the National Corpus “blockade” has as yet not been rolled out, the 10th April has very different policing issues.

10th April is the anniversary of the freeing of the city from Nazi/Axis occupation during World War II.  Needless to say there will be those that commemorate this event.  Some solemnly, some as a nostalgic anchor to a long dead Soviet system, others seeking provocation and the excuse to display now banned Communist paraphernalia, those paid to be there by certain interests,  and those unwittingly present or present by coercion as students and employees are forced to attend rallies and/or events.

Indeed on 5th April the Oppo Block delivered a largely unwitting and/or coerced student body to Shevchenko Park at the monument to the Unknown Solider to make a video in preparation for the 10th April commemorations.  The video production overseen by Oppo Block City Deputy Alexander Orlov.

Thus the police will be faced not only with the guaranteed issues of displayed Communist paraphernalia and undoubted Oppo Block shenanigans (despite lessons that it should have been learned from 2nd May tragedy and preceding events – another fast approaching anniversary that will test the police) but there is the obvious potential for either orchestrated and/or impromptu clashes, the now standard hoax bomb threats, and likely deliberate provocations designed to solicit a response from the police specifically for an already arriving journalistic corps of dubious integrity.

T’will be interesting to see what Monday 10th April holds in store for the police.

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