On July, 4, first Deputy minister Oleksandr Savchenko, arrived in Transcarpathian, to declare the order of minister, Yury Lutsenko, for reorganization of police-office in town Uzhgorod.Accordingly, a new deputy region sheriff was appointed who is also to become an Uzhgorod city police chief. Meanwhile, the present oblast police chief, general Viktor Chepak, called the restructuring ungrounded and illegal, urging his subordinates to defy it. All the police officers present at the meeting stood up in protest.
General Chepak called the order illegal because it violates the procedure of appointing new police officials. He said no one had discussed with him the nomination of his deputy, Vitaly Hlukhoverya, who had not been on the list of promotions for an Uzhgorod city chief and whom he had not seen before.
V. Chepak urged police officers to stand up and thus show their disagreement. Deputy Interior Minister Savchenko tried to avert the incident, saying Gen. Chepak’s behavior was indiscreet. However, it did not work.
In response, Savchenko praised the police officers for obedience, saying “I can see your love for your boss” and asking the media to videotape all those present in the hall, adding he will use the footage to report to IM Lutsenko.
Savchenko then noted that such situation was sparked through politicizing the police activities, with Chepak stressing that the stand-off occurred because politicians control the police. When asked by journalists to comment on the ongoing war between Baloha and Lutsenko, Gen. Savchenko replied, “I am not aware about what relationships they have. I do not see any tragedy in the restructuring – such changes happen every day.”
He admitted that no one had introduced the new region police chief deputy Hlukhoverya , adding it was a mistake not to have done it.
Asked by journalists about the reason for replacing the Uzhgorod police chief, Gen. Savchenko said it was due to contraband and narcotics. Ironically, in the opening words of his address Savchenko called the situation in Transcarpathian as stable, saying the populace trust in the police is among the highest in Ukraine.
Calling the appointment of Hlukhoverya illegal, Gen. Chepak said it was a humiliation to all Transcarpathian police force who will protest the appointment in court unless the interior minister annuls it himself. Gen. Chepak also said IM Lutsenko reprimanded him at the last meeting in Kyiv, saying the “Barva” company [owned by presidential secretary Viktor Baloha] was implicated in smuggling.
Finally, Gen. Savchenko reminded the police officials that any mass protests are not allowed by the service regulations and he cannot imagine Transcarpathia policemen coming in force to Kyiv to launch their protests.