Opposition outraged by the return of Polkov to the Ministry of Internal Affairs
The parliamentary factions of the pro-President party Nasha Ukraina and the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko [BYuT] are appalled by the appointment of Serhiy Polkov as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.
Under President Kuchma, Mr Polkov held several prominent positions in the same ministry.
Polkov is accused of having issued the order in autumn 2004 to crush the mass protests in Kyiv against violations during the presidential elections. At that time he held the post of Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and commander of the internal forces.
Former Minister of Internal Affairs Yury Lutsenko accuses him of having “personally given the order to hand out ammunition to spetsnaz [specially trained troops] of the internal forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in order to attack peaceful demonstrators.”
A representative of Nasha Ukraina said that the government coalition and Mr Yanukovych were demonstratively returning representatives of the Kuchma regime to their posts.
BYuT stated that the appointment of Mr Polkov was evidence of anti-democratic processes and of a return to power of old clans. “We are convinced that together with odious individuals in the police force, a criminal lack of principles, immorality and anti-Ukrainian core are being inculcated”.
The day before, President Yushchenko stated that he had agreed with Mr Yanukovych and the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Moroz appointments to key posts.