Experts: Ukraine will have civil control over the defense sector


Officials together with civil activist plan to introduce more transparency to the work of the military governance.

Kyiv, June 2, 2016. Ukraine will have full civil control over the defense sector. It includes parliamentary control, civil Defense Ministry and public control which is obviously not identical with the civil one. It was stated by Andriy Zagorodniuk, director of the Project Office of Reforms at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He added that the recently adopted Strategic Defense Bulletin introduces such control. “Civil control means that the Defense Ministry will carry out the agenda that faces the civil society. And the agenda must be provided by elective bodies. That is why we are talking about, for example, the parliament,” said Mykhailo Lopatin, representative of reform subcommittee at the General Staff committee of reforms. He added that the important issue is to establish civil control over the General Staff, in fact over people who make military decisions. “This is a key task within the framework of the Strategic Defense Bulletin. It will be a traumatic dialogue within society,” said Mr. Lopatin. He added that passing the reforms within the Bulletin refer to the scope of public control.

Defense Ministry should be civil in their majority, in the first place – the minister, his deputies and department heads. This is the practice of all NATO countries. Ukraine plans to start with the introduction of civil experts in the ministry. According to Oleksiy Gridin, head of the Volunteer Council at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, volunteers and civilians who see themselves in the agency system undergo special courses. “We also initiated training in foreign universities. The authorities have already assured us that volunteers and civilians who receive such education will return to work in the security sector,” explained Mr. Gridin.

“Volunteers who will be trained [in Ukraine] and get education abroad will be the link that will adapt the Armed Forces to community, civilians and vice versa. It will be an interaction. This will not be a monologue, but a dialogue,” said Alyona Verbytska, advisor to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. She explained that many people in Ukraine do not understand the way the Armed Forces function, so for productive cooperation it is necessary to study and understand the subject.