Admission to the OSCE: 30 January 1992
OSCE Project Co ordinator in Ukraine: Office established in June 1999
Policing overview: The responsibility for law enforcement in Ukraine traditionally rests with three government agencies: the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service and the State Department of Corrections (literally the State Department of Ukraine for the Execution of Sentences). Other bodies authorized to conduct criminal investigations are the Tax Police of Ukraine, the State Border Service of Ukraine, the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Military Intelligence Service.
1. Functions and missions
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine is the principal government agency responsible for ensuring the personal safety of citizens and the protection of their rights and freedoms, for preventing and countering violations of the law and for maintaining public order. It is also responsible for crime detection, for finding and arresting persons who have committed crimes as well as for ensuring road safety and guarding State and private property. The Minister for Internal Affairs reports to the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada).
2. Structure and organization
Within the Ministry of Internal Affairs there are a number of operational law enforcement divisions. The central apparatus includes the following structural subdivisions:
The Ministry comprises directorates and offices responsible for law enforcement on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in the administrative regions (oblasts) and in the centrally subordinate cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol. The Ministry of Internal Affairs also includes transport police divisions, municipal and district police directorates and departments, and local police precincts. In addition, the Ministry comprises the interior forces, the judicial police, training and research establishments and the Ministry’s own auxiliary services.
All of these institutions of higher education are subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and are overseen by the Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs for Personnel and Security Matters.
In accordance with the Ukrainian State Border Service Act, the State Border Service is a special purpose law enforcement agency.
The Ukrainian State Border Service Act sets out the legal bases for the organization and work of the State Border Service of Ukraine, its overall structure and the scope of its responsibilities and powers.
State Border Service personnel are trained at the Khmelnytsky National Academy of the State Border Service of Ukraine (in the town of Khmelnytskyi) and also at the training centres for junior specialists located in the towns of Orshanets, Velyki Mosty and Izmail.
1. Functions and missions
Within the scope of its competence as provided by law, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is responsible for the protection of State sovereignty, the constitutional order, territorial integrity, the economic and scientific defence potential of Ukraine, the legitimate interests of the State and the rights of its citizens against subversive intelligence activities by foreign intelligence services and against hostile actions on the part of particular organizations, groups or individuals, and for safeguarding classified government information.
The Security Service’s principal responsibilities also include the prevention, detection and curbing of crimes against peace and global security, terrorism, corruption and organized criminality in the areas of administration and economic affairs as well as other illegal acts posing a direct threat to Ukraine’s vital interests.
2. Structure and organization
Underlying the work of the Security Service of Ukraine, its bodies and staff are the principles of the rule of law, respect for the rights and dignity of the individual, non partisanship and responsibility to the Ukrainian people.
In its operational activities the Security Service is guided by the principles of combining single authority and teamwork on the one hand and openness and the observance of security procedures on the other.
The legal basis for the work of the Security Service is provided by the Constitution of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Security Service Act and other legislative acts, along with the relevant instruments under international law recognized by Ukraine.
The Security Service system comprises the Central Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine, subordinate regional offices, military counterintelligence authorities, and also the Service’s training, research and other establishments.
3. Staff data
In 2006 the Security Service of Ukraine employed some 33,500 personnel.
4. Education / Training
The SBU National Academy provides supplementary postgraduate training for operatives in the area of “State security”, entailing a one year course of instruction or a two year course involving advanced foreign language training and leading to the academic title of “specialist”, as well as correspondence courses for lawyers along the lines of higher education and advanced training for SBU personnel.
The SBU investigator training institute as part of the Yaroslav Mudry National Law Academy, which enjoys the status of an independent academic establishment, offers full time five year training courses for SBU investigators.
This department, whose work is directed by the Ministry of Justice, is responsible for the execution of criminal sentences within the Ukrainian prison system. It has a multidivisional structure of central and local directorates.
Within the department’s system, there are the following training establishments: the Chernihiv Law School, the Bila Tserkva and Dniprodzerzhynsk schools for the professional training of prison system staff, and advanced training courses in Khmelnytskyi.
1. External oversight mechanisms
In accordance with the Civil Democratic Oversight over Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Authorities Act, certain establishments are authorized to exercise external oversight over the activities of the law enforcement authorities. These are mainly the Ukrainian Parliament, the President of Ukraine, Parliament’s plenipotentiary representative for human rights, the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. In addition, citizens have the right to lodge complaints against government officials if they believe that these officials are violating their civil rights.
2. Internal oversight mechanisms
The actions of law enforcement personnel are subject to oversight, monitoring and, if necessary, the transfer of authority to a higher executive level within the units themselves. In addition, every law enforcement agency has its own internal security and special investigation unit, which is charged with conducting internal inquiries into complaints against staff of that agency.
Last Updated: 4 February 2010