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Old Friday, August 10, 2018
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Default Ukraine's Poroshenko gets rid of opponents by way of extradition

The other day social media reports indicated that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies made lists of people subject to extradition to Turkish and Polish authorities. Turkish citizens, who are activists of FETO, a terrorist organization banned in the country, and their Crimean Tatar supporters, as well as, Ukrainian citizens, who have violated Poland's Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, can be extradited.

In accordance with the administrative order, photos of which were posted on Facebook, the task had been given to a special unit of Ukrainian police, known as the Rapid Operational Response Unit (KORD), which has a special status within law enforcement agencies and closely cooperates with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The source of the leak said that he was a former officer of the unit and had been fired for refusing to follow such 'treacherous', in his view, order. And now he is concealing his identity, fearing reprisals from Kiev's authorities. bit. ly/2nsgQtK

Obviously, such actions of Kiev raised numerous questions. Motives behind the events remain unclear, too. For instance, FETO, which is designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey, is not officially banned in Ukraine and has even control over a number of educational institutions there. It means that its members are not criminals under Ukrainian law, and should not be extradited. Moreover, helping Erdogan in his struggle against Gulenists, Poroshenko is at risk of catching the flack on the part of his Washington's patrons. Kiev's decision to extradite Ukrainian citizens to Poland seems just absurd as in this case the main reason for extradition is nothing other than the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, or 'Anti-Bandera Law' as some are now calling it. Until quite recently, Poland's adoption of the Act and its Ukrainian component, in particular, has provoked heavy criticism and outright rejection by Kiev, putting at risk the very relations between two states. Now Ukrainian authorities have taken, albeit informally, diametrically opposed position and are going to extradite yesterday's patriots and fighters for Ukrainian independence like criminals. In the order there is a direct reference to existing agreements between Ukraine and Poland, as well as, between Ukraine and Turkey concerning extradition of the above-mentioned categories of people.

So, what is it, kid-glove diplomacy or just a good excuse to clean up troubled categories of the population on the eve of Ukraine's presidential election? It is known that some Crimean Tatars and representatives of right-wing parties, including radical nationalist organizations (such as 'Pravy Sector') are extremely opposed to Poroshenko and the authorities that he heads in Kiev. Obviously, this is Poroshenko's way of trying to get rid of the undesirables among both potentially dangerous categories of the population and representatives of local law enforcement agencies, paving the way for the forthcoming elections. There is simply no other explanation for this sudden shift in Ukrainian foreign policy.
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