Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ukraine Police Beg for Forgiveness

The Berkut riot police were at the forefront to quell dissent that very quickly spiraled into violence 


Members of the Berkut elite police prepare to leave their barracks in Kiev 


Ukraine police seeking pardon

In the western Ukraine city of Lviv, about a hundred members of the Berkut elite riot police – who had returned from duty in the capital, Kiev – dropped to their knees and begged fellow citizens for forgiveness for their role in the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters last week. They told the crowd on Monday that they were not involved in the killings and they then swore to take the side of the people in the future. 

“I am asking you to forgive us,” said one officer who stood in front of other men. “In memory of those who were killed, we want to kneel down”. 

But in Russian-speaking Odessa and Crimea, returning Berkut police have been cheered. 

Ukraine’s hated riot police have since been disbanded – this decision marks the first step in an urgent program of security-service reform needed to stabilize the country. The collapse of the Yanukovych government is welcomed but Ukraine’s problems have only just started. 

On Thursday, I was at the Malaysia Airlines Academy to attend the Kelana Bilingual Toastmasters meeting where I was the invocation presenter as well as a project speaker. I delivered CC #1 titled “Me On Me” and I was evaluated by Emil Anthony (MAS Finance). This represents Round 4 of Project 15 – and slowly but surely I am making progress. To commit to giving at least 150 speeches this year is no easy feat!

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