For over 16 years, Interior Ministry of Ukraine has been participating in international peacekeeping operations. For this period, about 3000 its officials and militaries have been in "flash points" on the territories of 18 countries.

Since 2003, a Special peacekeeping training center has been functioning in Ukraine. Located on the base of the National academy of internal affairs of Ukraine, it trains law enforcement peacemakers. This month Ukraine has applied for accreditation in the United Nations, and in the near future, the center will start training peacekeepers from other counties.

On March 21, 50 representatives of the UN arrived in Ukraine to observe and estimate the work of the peacekeeping training center. ForUm joined the delegation to find out whether Ukraine was ready to train international officers.

The guests were met by the rector of the National academy lieutenant general Valentyn Kovalenko, who told about the history and routine of the center.

According to Kovalenko, there are 293 special staff members working in the center. 80 Ukrainian police officers participate in UN peacekeeping operations, and 25 out of them hold executive positions. Our men take park in peace and order making in Cyprus, Congo, Kosovo, Liberia, South Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Kyrgyzstan.

In his turn, chief of the department for scientific studies of the National academy Ruslan Vorobiyev told journalists that to obtain international status the center need UN estimations.

"Some experts arrived with the delegation, thus we expect certain decisions within the days, without additional testing," Vorobiyev hopes.

According to him, Ukrainian peacekeepers have a good level of preparation, which has been proved in the course of various missions.

"Our officers hold executive positions in international missions, and Ukraine is considered an equal partner when it concerns peacekeeping trainings. I think it is a very important stage for our academy. Apart from good image, there are economic benefits, as the UN covers all expenses for peacekeeping training," the chief said.

As ForUm learned, if the center obtains the international status, the training and study will be held in English, and for this, special three-week courses have already been developed. 

After the speech of welcome, UN representatives went to inspect the center and make conclusions about its capacity.

On the territory of the initial training department, there are four dormitories, a car service, a sick ward, a library, two computer classrooms, a diner, a gym and a shot gallery.

Lodging conditions are to be envied.

Judo training is in progress. Many officers are Olympic winners or even world champions.

UN representatives are taking photos with cadets, standing in line around the administrative building. 

The Special peacekeeping training center also demonstrated its technical capacities. The exhibition presented various weapons and equipment, including of Ukrainian production.

Interior Ministry representative in the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to the UN Vitaly Kasap told journalists that the center was very promising. "Comparing to the similar centers in European cities, I can say that Ukrainian training center has a decent level, good potential and resource base. We have something to teach foreigners. Moreover, we are already doing this and doing it well."

At the end of the tour, the guests enjoyed a fighting show.  Militants demonstrated skills in detaining smugglers, suppressing mass disorders and deactivating explosive devices.

We do not know what decision New York will made, but the guests were pleased with the tour. Thus, representatives of the Australian police department noted that Ukraine's level of peacekeeping training is as good as in their country. Germans, in turn, praised the weapons of Ukrainian production. 

"We are impressed with the skills Ukrainian police officers have demonstrated, and we believe that Ukraine merits training peacemakers from other countries," representatives of Turkish police department added.

Now Ukraine has to wait for the verdict of the United Nations. Indeed, we have something to teach foreign colleagues. And who knows, may be in the near future children of the whole world will see war only in action movies.

Anastasia Pika, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk


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