Let the regional SBU leadership changes begin?

October 27, 2018

Changes to the parameters surrounding the scope of the SBU have long been advocated by the blog.  There is no need for the SBU to be so actively involved in what otherwise would be classed as normal policing.  Unless directly related to national security, there is no need for SBU involvement in financial crime other than a watchful oversight for economy threatening issues – and so on.

In short a far more watchful and a far less hands on approach to many of the current areas in which the SBU operates that would/should/could fall to standard policing.

As such the forthcoming (though who knows exactly when) changes to the role and responsibilities of the SBU due to be clarified by new/amended statute will be both keenly awaited and robustly scrutinised.  Until then, for many the SBU will continue to be perceived as a generally unaccountable presidential tool with far too broad a scope that is occasionally employed for political expedience rather than national security purposes.  (A matter of here is my problem/offender so go find me his/her crime, and let’s see how he/she can the be manipulated.)

Ergo the new/amended laws need concentrate on both oversight and accountability as well as placing robust yet responsible/sensible parameters upon SBU.  After all, care need be taken to allow the SBU to effectively accomplish their necessary national security role.

In the meantime however, for many the SBU remains an instrument of the president when it functions in what are perceived to be political rather than national security circumstances.

It is perhaps notable with presidential elections upon the immediate horizon that over the past few days there have been several changes to regional SBU Chiefs.

On 25th October, Volodymyr Pakhnyuk was removed as SBU Chief of the Vinnitsa region, being replaced by Oleh Zozulyu, and on 26th October Oleksandr Karpenko assumed the role of the SBU Chief of Luhansk and Donetsk region, replacing Olexandr Kuts – all by Presidential Decree.

Perhaps the beginning of an SBU leadership reshuffle prior to the new/amended laws for any number of reasons?  (Be those reasons reason as logic, reason as motive, or reason as a way of life.)

Maybe a politically expedient move prior to the elections due in late March 2019?

Something else?  A sensible move to rotate to prevent SBU management getting too cosy with the corrupt local fiefdoms?  (Such a policy of regional leadership/management rotation being something that policing, customs, prosecutors etc would also benefit from.)

Is it too soon to interpret these changes?  When all is said and done, two dots on a chart (or two SBU management related Presidential Decrees in two days) do not yet make a trend.

Something to monitor over the coming weeks and months.

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