Head of EU Advisory Mission Visits Odesa, Reinforces Support for Regional National Police

May 21, 2024

Rolf Holmboe, Head of the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) to Ukraine, visited Odesa last week to meet with the Head of the National Police in Odesa oblast. The visit aimed to address the region’s pressing security challenges and foster deeper collaboration in tackling them effectively.

Moving forward, EUAM remains committed to supporting the National Police throughout its renewed Mandate.

Holmboe and the regional National Police leadership delved into the intricacies of supporting law enforcement agencies, particularly in the investigation of war crimes and the provision of technical assistance to police officers. The meetings underscored the shared commitment to enhancing security and strengthening cooperation between EUAM and the Odesa National Police.

“On behalf of the EU’s Advisory Mission to Ukraine, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the dedication and bravery of the National Police of Odesa Oblast operating under such difficult circumstances. We extend our sincere condolences for the losses incurred not least during the relentless Russian bombings. EUAM Ukraine is committed to supporting the National Police, and our new Mandate from 1 June 2024 will further strengthen our engagement in Ukraine,” said Rolf Holmboe, Head of Mission.

Acknowledging the critical importance of EUAM’s support, Police Colonel Ivan Zhuk, Head of the National Police in Odesa region, emphasized ongoing and forthcoming security projects, including implementing the ‘Educational Security Officer’ initiative.

“I would like to thank the entire mission team sincerely. Your help is significant and an integral part of our path to Victory. We, in turn, will do our best to ensure that this Victory comes as soon as possible,” concluded Police Colonel Ivan Zhuk, underscoring the reciprocal commitment between EUAM and the regional police force.

Among the key areas of collaboration discussed were plans to enhance the equipment of the explosive ordnance disposal and dog training units of the Odesa police, aimed at further bolstering their operational capabilities.

The Head of Mission attended tactical medicine training for police officers

As a part of his visit to Odesa, the Head of Mission visited the Combat Life Saver Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Course funded by EUAM for national police officers deployed in Odesa. Holmboe immersed himself in the training session, actively engaging in a practical exercise in a dimly lit, confined shelter beneath the police station. The aim was to replicate real-life scenarios as authentically as possible. Police personnel participating in the exercise were fully equipped, armed, and donned protective gear, mirroring conditions they’d encounter on duty. The scenario featured “wounded” colleagues portraying civilians or fellow officers, adding an element of realism to the training.

This TCCC course conducted by NGO Tactical Medicine North was the last in a series of three aimed at training the police officers from Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions. After this course, the trained police officers, when in the rotation at the front, can provide a higher level of first aid for the common good of the civilians and the police.