Lutsk terrorist case: View of former law enforcers

Author : Ksenia Tsyvirko

Source : 112 Ukraine

A tense situation in Lutsk city, where a twice-convicted man seized a bus and held hostage 21 people, including children and pregnant women has become yesterday’s breaking news for all the news channels of the country...
14:06, 22 July 2020

Armed man hijacks bus with hostages in Lutsk
Ukraine's Interior Ministry

A tense situation in Lutsk city, where a twice-convicted man seized a bus and held hostage 21 people, including children and pregnant women has become yesterday’s breaking news for all the news channels of the country... Traffic in the center of the city was blocked, an operational plan "Hostage" was announced, and even Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov arrived in Lutsk on a special flight to coordinate all the units.

Related: Hostages in Lutsk set free, hijacker detained

For law enforcement officers, the situation was really difficult and very responsible: they were like a mine stretcher. On the one hand, in the event of an assault, the terrorist threatens to blow up the entire bus. On the other hand, for the "peaceful settlement of the conflict" he puts forward clearly inadequate and impracticable demands: that the heads of law enforcement agencies, church rectors and a number of Ukrainian oligarchs publish messages on their pages in social networks and on YouTube with the recognition "I am a terrorist in law. " The conditions for the release of the hostages of the notorious bus did not pass even the President of Ukraine. The man demanded from Zelensky to publish a video message with the words “Everyone should watch the film Earthlings of 2005!”

Taking hostages on such ideological grounds is a rarity for Ukraine.

This is a very atypical crime for Ukraine. The kidnappers captured rich children for extortion, armed groups, organized crime groups. Mainly - for selfish motives, and here we are dealing with a person who was undergoing compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital (information about treatment was later refuted by MIA head, - ed.). Our police officers have experience of work there is no such category of criminals yet. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is very difficult or almost impossible to predict his behavior and to predict how the situation will unfold further,” says lawyer Serhiy Burlakov, who himself was previously an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In general, according to him, law enforcement officers already have a certain action plan for such situations. For example, it is imperative to include the attending physician and qualified psychologists in the conduct of a special operation (specialists in behavioral reactions are already in the structure of the National Police), who would be able to analyze the criminal behavior model and indicate mental irritants. In addition, family and friendship ties are being worked out: close people can have the necessary influence on the offender and have a confidential conversation with him.

Related: Wife and friends of Lutsk hijacker asks him to give up, he refuses, - Deputy Interior Minister

Ideally, such negotiations should, on a verbal level, psychologically disarm the terrorist, force him to abandon his original idea. Despite the fact that, according to law enforcement officers, very often such incidents, even at the stage of the idea, are theatrical and provocative in nature: as a rule, no one is going to commit their criminal intent with massive fatal consequences to the end. But you need to be ready for everything, so conversations alone in such special operations cannot be enough.

Everyone is in a stressful situation: the hostages of the bus, the policemen, and the terrorist himself. It is difficult to say, for example, why he threw an F-1 grenade out of the bus along with a check. Either it was an oversight due to increased adrenaline or it was planned in advance,” Burlakov reflects.

"One way or another, in such cases, Ukraine rarely resorts to forceful liquidation. Most often, negotiations are held to the bitter end," he adds. And in the end, as practice shows, terrorists often get tired of a deadly situation they have created and surrender into the hands of law enforcement officials.

Related: Interior Ministry shows photos of Lutsk hijacker's weapons

At the same time, according to one of the former heads of the Ukrainian police, the current situation is an indicator of the incompetence of law enforcement officers.

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