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Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko says that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies will address threats against police officers and judges, and urged Ukrainians to observe the law during public gatherings and rallies, reads a statement posted on the ministry's Web site in the early hours of Sunday.
The minister warned against provocations vis-à-vis police and urged to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of people and public order in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"The detailed analysis and monitoring of mass media show that an information campaign based on distorted and often unchecked data has been launched against the Interior Ministry, and which has become especially clear in recent months. Certain politicians raise the issue that the incumbent government is illegitimate. They urge to use force against police officers, assault and seize the authorities," the minister said.
"Acting within the law, we will immediately address threats made against law enforcers, judges and their family members," Zakharchenko said.
He reminded that laws foresee criminal responsibility for such threats.
"Each of us is responsible for the future of our state today. Peaceful protests are signals that should be heard by the authorities, and a civilized solution to the current situation in Ukraine should be found jointly with civil society," Zakharchenko said.
He also noted that he had publicly admitted the guilt of the Interior Ministry's agencies, which used excessive force during the crackdown on participants in the protest rally on Kyiv's Independence Square on November 30.
"However, responsibility for the course of peaceful assemblies and their consequences must be also taken by their organizers and politicians who make different appeals there. Law enforcement agencies are ready to cooperate with any political force, journalists, parliamentarians and non-governmental organizations to ensure the safety of people and safeguard public order," Zakharchenko said.
The minister cited joint street patrols of police officers and volunteers from among former Afghan war (1979-1989) veterans as an example. They serve together in the most crowded places with the task to detect provocateurs and public disturbers, and resolve conflicts between protesters.
The minister expressed concern about the current situation in Kyiv, where "people with dubious intentions are heading for."
Zakharchenko called on citizens to report to the police about any suspicious action and not to try to solve problems on their own outside the legal framework.