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Ukraine took 17th place in the ranking of the Global Terrorism Index of 2017, improving its positions by 6 points compared to the same rating from 2016. 112.ua asked the Security Service (SBU) what terrorism is in Ukraine, what are its features, and what influences its intensification.
Western experts ranked Ukraine as a list of countries with a high level of terrorist activity (6.56 on a 10-point scale). Along with Ukraine, Somalia, India, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan were listed as top twenty countries with terrorist level.
However, not only Western specialists compare Ukraine with Somalia. Domestic experts made loud statements that the crime rate, the number of explosions and terrorist attacks in Ukraine are higher than in Somalia. Nevertheless, the Security Service states: foreigners take into account not all the features of the current situation in our country.
"Comparing Ukraine and Somalia is incorrect. Ukraine has defined the ways to combat terrorism at the legislative level; there are bodies that carry out the corresponding anti-terrorist measures. For more than 25 years, the inter-clan armed struggle has been going on in Somalia, there are no state institutions combating terrorism. The conclusions of the foreign experts and the ratings in which they place Ukraine on the same level as Somalia are influenced by their methodology. In general, foreign experts take into account the quantitative indicator of terrorist acts, and that almost all the manifestations of which are fixed by LPR\DPR militants in the area of the ATO."
"In Ukraine, terrorism is characterized by the use of conventional means of destruction by intruders, while the special services of the Russian Federation significantly influence the activities aimed at destabilizing the situation in different regions of Ukraine, as well as the illegal circulation of weapons, explosives, and other weapons from the ATO area," SBU stated.
But at the same time, explosions on the territory of Ukraine, which, incidentally, occur daily, or even several times a day, are mostly committed on domestic grounds and do not attract any terrorist threat.
"On the territory of Ukraine, the use of regular explosives (mainly RGD-5 and F-1 grenades) is fixed almost every day. In most cases, the use of means of destruction is associated with the solution of domestic conflicts or material problems, business competition, and an attempt to pressure political opponents. These crimes, which contain certain signs of a terrorist nature, are usually classified by the police as a sign of criminal offenses," said the SBU.
But common sense tells us that military grenades intended for a mortal defeat of a man are not a joke, and it is difficult to buy RGD-5 or F-1 freely, despite the uncontrolled flows of weapons and explosives throughout the country. And this item itself does not imply the pursuit of humane goals. Why should one buy or carry a grenade as a souvenir if you do not use it?
SBU says that the grenade could be used for different purposes, and its owner might be guided by different motives. The investigator determines whether to commence criminal proceedings under art. 258 UCU ("Terrorist") or under art. 296 UCU ("Hooliganism").
"Terror acts are aimed at intimidation of the population, provocation of public chaos, a complication of international relations, pressure on representatives of the authorities or local self-government to accept or reject certain decisions, draw attention to certain political, religious or other views of the perpetrator. This perpetrator gets prepared for the crime: he acquires a means of destruction, finds the place, the time of committing a crime, etc… At the same time, hooligan actions are committed without a specific purpose, mostly spontaneously, motivated by disrespect for society," told the SBU representatives.
In 2017, the investigative bodies of the Security Service of Ukraine launched a pre-trial investigation of 3,718 criminal proceedings with terrorist qualifications. Of these, 2,538 are under art. 285 ("Terrorist Act"), 1,041 under Art. 258-3 UCU ("Creation of a terrorist group or terrorist organization"), 2 - under art. 258-4 ("Assistance in the commission of a terrorist act"), 137 - under Art. 258-5 ("Financing of Terrorism"). 381 treatment of the indictment were sent to the court: 9 - under Art. 258 ("terrorist act"), 358 - under Art. 258-3 ("Establishment of a terrorist group or terrorist organization"), 14 under Art. 258-5 ("Financing of Terrorism").
In 2014-2017, investigative bodies of the SBU were investigating on 10,727 criminal proceedings under Art. 258-258-5 ("Terror acts"). In 2014, there were 1,672 criminal proceedings, in 2015 - 1,419, in 2016 - 4,568, in 2017 - 3,068. Of this number, 1,028 criminal proceedings were sent to the court.
Ukraine has its own specific features of terrorism: war, Russia, and illegal arms trafficking. And we understand that if a soldier comes back home from Donbas and brings a grenade with him, then he gets drunk and blows it up, of course, this is not terrorism. But people continue to die though, and for the West, we are still a country with a high level of terrorist activity.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.