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Russia hires 14,000 police officers in occupied territories – ISW

Wednesday, 3 April 2024, 05:56
Russia hires 14,000 police officers in occupied territories – ISW
Stock photo: Ria Novosti

Russia's Interior Ministry is increasing its law enforcement presence in occupied Ukraine to strengthen control over civilians and critical infrastructure.

Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Details: On 2 April, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev told the Interior Ministry board that the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD) was creating territorial units in occupied Ukraine and that nearly 14,000 police officers, most of whom had previously served in local law enforcement agencies, had been recruited to the occupation police.


Kolokoltsev claimed that the MVD had transferred more than 800 officers from Russia to occupied Ukraine and that 1,500 new officers had joined to serve in this area. The MVD has created separate units to maintain order, counter extremism and protect infrastructure in occupied Ukraine.

He also said that the MVD has paid increased attention to the protection of critical railway transit facilities and increased mobile patrol police groups in occupied Ukraine to 700 people, who check about 2,500 facilities per day.

Russia has also deployed at least 35,000 Rosgvardia officers in temporarily occupied territories, many of whom are likely to perform law enforcement tasks.

Earlier, ISW noted that the influx of Russian law enforcement agencies to occupied Ukraine is also likely to be partly aimed at artificially changing the demography of the region by bringing more Russian citizens to the occupied territories.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 2 April:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law on 2 April that lowers the Ukrainian military’s mobilisation age from 27 to 25 years of age.
  • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on 2 April that Russian forces seized about 400 square kilometres of Ukrainian territory in the first three months of 2024 – a rate of advance not necessarily reflective of wider Russian offensive prospects due to the impact of US security assistance delays.
  • Ukraine conducted long-range unidentified unmanned aerial systems (UAS) strikes against Russian military production and oil refinery infrastructure in the Republic of Tatarstan, over 1,200 kilometres from the Ukrainian border.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address at the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) board meeting on 2 April illustrated Russia’s dissonant response to the 22 March Crocus City Hall terrorist attack as Russian authorities simultaneously pursue law enforcement actions against migrant communities while also baselessly implicating Ukraine. Putin also attempted to address intensified debates about migration that have emerged following the Crocus City Hall attack but continued to express an inconsistent and vague stance on the issue.
  • Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Deputy Chief Major General Vadym Skibitskyi stated on 2 April that the GUR believes that Russian forces will likely temporarily pause strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure in order to replenish low missile stockpiles.
  • US sanctions against Russia continue to impact Russian financial ties to post-Soviet countries, as Kyrgyzstan’s national payment system Elkart announced on 2 April that it would stop processing transactions using the Russian "Mir" payment system to prevent secondary sanctions.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly proposed a NATO aid package that would send US$100 billion of military assistance to Ukraine over five years.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Kreminna and Avdiivka amid continued positional engagements along the entire line of contact on 2 April.
  • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on 2 April that the Russian military intends to finish and deploy several newly constructed small missile and patrol ships in 2024.
  • The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) is increasing its law enforcement presence in occupied Ukraine in order to intensify Russian control over Ukrainian civilians and strengthen security over critical infrastructure.

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