Gangs of skinheads in the Crimea and six other Ukrainian cities
The Minister of Internal Affairs Yury Lutsenko told ambassadors from member states of the European Union at which issues on countering xenophobia and racism were discussed, that there are more than 500 skinheads in Ukraine, in 6 cities and the Crimea.
These skinheads, he said, are aged between 14 and 27 and are in gangs of from 20 to 50 people. Such groups exist in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya, Lviv, Sevastopol, Chernihiv and the Crimea.
He stated that the Ministry of Internal Affairs have documented most of the skinhead groups in Ukraine and the necessary prophylactic measures and investigative operations are underway. He added that some crimes linked with skinheads remained unsolved, but said that work was being carried out in this area at the appropriate level.
Yury Lutsenko also told those present at the meeting that the MIA was implementing an Action Plan on countering racism for the period up to 2009 which prioritizes prevention work and the solving of racially motivated crimes, as well as counter neo-Nazi skinhead organizations.
He gave the following statistics for 2007:
3,485 crimes were committed in Ukraine by foreign nationals (3,145 by citizens of CIS countries; 231 by people from EU countries;
1,176 crimes against foreign nationals were committed by Ukrainian citizens (749 against citizens of CIS countries; citizens of EU countries – 151).
In January 2008, foreign nationals committed 223 crimes (195 people from CIS countries), while 56 crimes were committed against foreign nationals (30 against citizens of CIS countries).
Last year 22 foreign nationals were murdered and 13 suffered serious bodily injuries causing death (18 murders and 10 cases of bodily injuries were against citizens of CIS countries). 17 murderers and 9 cases of serious bodily injury were uncovered by the police. Since the beginning of 2008, all 5 murders of foreign nationals (of whom 4 were citizens of CIS countries) have been solved.
The Minister said that after serious recent meetings between the management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and representatives of the diplomatic corps where the situation with combating racism and xenophobia in Ukraine had been discussed, police bodies had carried out additional methods, aimed both at preventing and solving crimes in this area.
He assured those present that the state of the criminal investigation into such criminal acts is always under the personal control of the MIA management. In connection with this, he added, in June last year, a separate unit within the Department for Criminal Process had been created for working of and implementing a strategy for fighting ethnic crimes.