Even a child in Ukraine can nowadays quickly identify the air alert sound, showing you the shortest way to the shelter in the neighbourhood. This is the new “normality” since the beginning of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine. A war against Ukraine’s state and nation, its people’s independence, democracy, and liberty. 

Living in the war reality, under constant shelling, missile attacks and other threats, Ukrainians understand the value of “safety and security”. That’s why the civil security agencies of Ukraine put all their efforts into making people’s lives safer.

Being on the ground, the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) Ukraine sees the unprecedented challenges their national partners face daily throughout Ukraine, including the liberated areas.

EUAM Ukraine’s Head of Mission (HoM), Rolf Holmboe, visited the Ukrainian South to meet counterparts from Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kherson regions and get the latest update on challenges and developments in the area, on 9-11 January 2024.

Support in restoring Policing and Rule of Law in the Liberated Areas

When in the South, Rolf Holmboe, met partners from Mykolaiv and Kherson regions involved in restoring policing and the rule of law in the liberated territories, which is among the Mission’s priorities, including the senior management of the regional police, and the Prosecution Office and authorities. 

The Head of the National Police in Kherson region, Ihor Korol, explained to the Head of Mission how difficult it is to operate in liberated Kherson city. “The police officers are heavily overloaded with work. Operating under constant shelling, they usually have no adequate rest or recuperation”. The high-risk environment in Kherson made the National Police and other civil security agencies move many facilities down to the basements of the buildings. The extremely high mine contamination of the area, considering the limited number of specialised personnel and equipment, is currently also a huge risk. Despite it all, Kherson and Mykolaiv police officers and prosecutors deal with international crimes daily and, thus, require special equipment and armoured vehicles while working at the scene.

Rolf Holmboe conveyed to the Ukrainian partners about the EU’s commitment to further support for overcoming the many challenges they face while investigating and prosecuting war crimes, and ensuring a safe environment in liberated territories. The Mission, said Holmboe, will continue providing strategic advice, specialised training, necessary equipment and engaging more international partners for the purpose.

Solidarity lanes and Integrated Border Management

The regular Russia’s attacks on the Odesa region, particularly the ports, have the effect of depleting resources and harm infrastructures as aimed at hitting Ukraine’s export potential. During a meeting, with Rear-Admiral Oleh Kostur, the Head of the Regional Marine Guard Directorate, and Oleh Kiper, the Head of the Odesa Military Administration, on 10 January, Rolf Holmboe discussed the possibilities of cooperation, as well as urgent needs to improve the counterpart’s capacity to ensure sustainable operation of Ukrainian ports in Odesa and Danube Delta.

Support for Ukrainian security future: working with police universities.

On the last day of his visit to the South, EUAM Ukraine’s Head discussed challenges and prospects of police education in Ukraine at the Odesa State University of Internal Affairs with rector, the colonel Dmytro Schvets. The сolonel highlighted how much attention is paid to creating practical skill sets for future police officers. They visited the specialised classrooms for the training on domestic violence cases, interviewing children, court hearings, tactical medicine, shooting range, mediation centre, and also the University Museum. 

Rolf Holmboe and Dmytro Schvets shared their views on ongoing joint activities and plans in a friendly atmosphere. “The University professors and the students appreciate the constant support of EUAM Ukraine’s Odesa Field Office. We can see your representatives almost every day in the corridors of our University,” underlined the police colonel.

EUAM Ukraine strives to support Ukraine in raising its capacity to ensure a safe and secure state for its citizens, despite the war realities.

Source: https://www.euam-ukraine.eu/news/ukrainian-south-s-resilience-unbroken-euam-ukraine-s-head-visits-mykolaiv-and-odesa/