Traffic police again preventing peaceful protesters reaching Kyiv?
On Monday the United Opposition asserted that the traffic police have been blocking routes to Kyiv on an unprecedented scale. Statements from both Batkivshchyna and the Front for Change allege that the government is in this way trying to stop people arriving in Kyiv for Tuesday’s protest outside parliament.
The Verkhovna Rada is scheduled to again consider a highly contentious bill which would effectively make Russian as good as a second official language in a number of regions of Ukraine (see Latest use or abuse of the “language issue”
Both statements are somewhat short on verifiable detail. They assert that traffic officers have been ordered to prevent coaches from the western and central oblasts (likely to be protesters against the bill) entering Kyiv.
There is strong evidence that the traffic police have been deployed on other occasions to either physically prevent coaches entering Kyiv or put pressure on transport companies to not carry protesters,
and the numerous links below. Such inappropriate deployment of the traffic police has not been confined to political protests alone. In July 2010 Orthodox pilgrims faithful to the Kyiv Patriarchate, rather than the Moscow Patriarchate were also prevented from getting to Kyiv (see How the Traffic Police do not ensure safe travelling