Supporting security in East Ukraine: top facts about EUAM Field Offices

February 11, 2022

In the East of Ukraine, the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) opened its field offices in Kharkiv and Mariupol, two cities selected as focal points. It does not mean that the Mission operates only in these cities.

On the contrary, such location allows EUAM to reach every corner of the region and expand activities in the neighbouring ones. For example, this year, the field offices conducted a series of meetings with the local partners in Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk GCA oblasts to discuss how EUAM expert advice and practical support can help them to improve the civilian security situation in the area of responsibility.

Reforming the civilian security sector

Civil society organisations and law enforcement representatives in Kharkiv discussed public safety initiatives in Kharkiv. August 2018

EUAM field offices are working closely with the regional representations of Ukrainian counterparts to expedite a sustainable reform of the civilian security sector. It means that EUAM brings its experts to the field to understand how the civilian security sector works in the regions assessing their needs and providing strategic advice and practical support according to EU standards and international principles of good governance and human rights.

For this purpose, EUAM field offices conduct a series of training, workshops, and roundtables in the eastern regions. They regularly help coordinate the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the regional and central levels and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, and community representatives to find ways to improve security situation locally. The field offices also identify the needs of counterparts for timely technical assistance.

Community Policing: one of the main priorities

Participants of the ‘Training of Trainers’ course, developed by EUAM and the Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine. November 2021

Practical cooperation between citizens and police for responding to community security concerns can be achieved by integrating the Community Policing approach in the daily work of LEAs.

For example, the joint efforts of EUAM experts and the Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine helped develop and integrate the Community Policing Curriculum for Ukraine’s Universities of Internal Affairs. They became a part of their educational programme. Specific modules of the curriculum are used to train the National Police and Patrol Police officers for better addressing safety issues of region citizens.

Community safety dialogue as a part of community policing approach

Community Safety Dialogue kick-off event. Mariupol, December 2021

Furthermore, last year the Community Safety Dialogue, a unique platform for civil society, local authorities, and LEAs, was launched in the Donetsk region. Aimed at building trust between the law enforcement agencies and communities, this approach provides mechanisms for enhancing cooperation in crime prevention, domestic violence, and road traffic safety, finding joint solutions, and addressing safety issues. The Community Safety Dialogues are conducted on the base of Mariupol Police Hub, the negotiation space fitted by EUAM by IT equipment for EUR 12,100.00.

Enhancing the service delivery to citizens and criminal investigations

EU delivered ten mobile forensic laboratories to the NPU. This equipment worth approximately EUR 442,000 will help Ukrainian police to become more effective in investigating and combating serious and organised crime. December 2021

Since 2016, EUAM has assessed the needs of local partners in the East and provided them with the necessary technical support to operate by best international and European standards.

In line with this, EUAM donated in December 2021 got the mobile forensic labs for the Criminalistics Support Units, the Kharkiv and Poltava Police, and eight other oblasts of Ukraine. This equipment worth approximately EUR 442,000 helps Ukrainian police to become more effective in investigating and combating serious and organised crime.

Strengthening the National Police in smuggling combat and human rights protection

The EU PRAVO POLICE programme delivered the prefabricated modules to the NPU to be used at checkpoints, police pick-up cars, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and a state-of-the-art portable explosive ordnance scanner that will allow police to operate in hard-to-reach locations. March 2021

In March 2021, the National Police of Donetsk oblast was enhanced by the modules equipment for checkpoints, police pick-up vehicles, bomb suits, first-aid kits, fire extinguishers, and a portable explosive ordnance scanner under the PRAVO Police programme, implemented by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Such support helps to increase the safety of civilians in the area, with the common occurrence of human, drug and arms trafficking, unauthorised movement of people and goods across the contact line, the activity of militarised organised criminal groups, and daily discovery of explosive devices and remnants of war.

Last year Kharkiv police stations supported by EUAM opened “Green Rooms”, a safe, child-friendly space specially equipped for effective communication with children during criminal investigations. In addition, the Kharkiv field office conducted a webinar on “Interviewing Children in Criminal Justice Chain” at the beginning of 2021. During the event, Finland’s leading experts shared their experience on interviewing children as part of criminal proceedings for over 180 participants from Ukraine’s police, courts, prosecution, regional authorities, and academia in Kharkiv, Lviv, Kyiv, Mariupol, and Odesa.

EUAM helps the NPU in protecting citizens of hard-to-reach settlements

ENAUM handed over 20 Nissan Patrols to the NPU in Donetsk oblast. December 2021

To ensure that the police officers can reach every corner of their responsibility in eastern Ukraine, EUAM donated to Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Severodonetsk NPU Departments vehicles.

EUAM ensures the voices of the East are heard in Kyiv

The representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine visit Mariupol. September 2021

In September 2021, EUAM organised a working visit of Ukraine’s Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement to the Donetsk region. The Verkhovna Rada representatives received an opportunity better to understand regional challenges in the civilian security sector and identify legislative ways to overcome them. EUAM believes that the constructive and regular dialogue between lawmakers and local agencies ensures effective legislative changes based on practical law enforcement.

Moving forward for better civilian security in the East of Ukraine

Delivery of checkpoint modules, vehicles, scanners and other equipment for the police in the Donetsk region, March 2021

EUAM continues its constant presence in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Among the top EUAM priorities, the following should be mentioned: the ongoing integration of Community Policing approach within LEAs and educational facilities (1), the touristic police support by sharing best EU practices (2), thematic working group launching within Community Safety Dialogue (3), and the opening of police stations equipped by Green Rooms and Custody Record System (4), an integrated video record system to ensure human rights protection of detainees.

Considering the current unstable situation in the East, EUAM acts accordingly, building the resilience of the regional partners towards internal and external threats. Thus, EUAM develops an emergency support package for the Police to support their contingency service delivery, along with the provision of resilience-building exercises for the regional state administrations, the police, emergency service, territorial defence, Border Guard Service, and the media on crisis management.