July 15, the Verkhovna Rada has voted for the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. Avakov signed the corresponding statement of July 13.
In the evening, the Servant of the People faction held a meeting, at which President Zelensky proposed the candidacy of Avakov's successor, the current head of the Rada's law enforcement committee, Denys Monastyrsky.
Since 2014, presidents and prime ministers have changed. The ministers left and came. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov remained the only "island of cadre stability."
Avakov was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine on February 27, 2014. Thus, Avakov became the most "durable" Minister of Internal Affairs of modern Ukraine.
Attempts to remove him from the office
In 2017, for example, a resolution was passed to the Rada on the dismissal of Avakov. But only 31 MPs voted for it. In June 2020, the profile committee of the Rada also submitted to the session hall a decree on the dismissal of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but the matter did not progress further.
In parallel, rumors periodically arose in the media about Avakov's imminent resignation. But they all remained rumors.
Arsen Avakov launched the police reform in 2015. Instead of the usual police at that time, the National Police appeared. Among other things, the patrol service was reformed. And the Patrol Police (or rather, its representatives) for some time became for many Ukrainians a very popular object for joint selfies. Unfortunately, after a few years, for many, this, perhaps, was one of the main features of this reform.
In general, the criticism boils down to insufficient reform of law enforcement agencies. As one of the arguments, the attestation process remained unfinished during the reform, and many old cadres were reinstated through the courts.
Now, perhaps, everyone has already made their own opinion on this reform. And these opinions obviously differ.
Although it cannot be said that there were only cons. The salaries of police officers were increased, many new people came there, including experienced Donbas veterans, for some time the trust in the police has jumped at a record (as for the present times). And specifically to the patrol is still quite high.
Perhaps the main scandal associated with the name of Avakov during his time as minister. He is associated with the son of Arsen Avakov, Oleksandr.
In 2015, the Ministry of Internal Affairs signed contracts with private enterprises for the purchase of 6,000 backpacks worth 610,000 USD. Subsequently, the media began to report that the backpacks were purchased at inflated prices through enterprises controlled by the Avakov family.
In July 2015, Prosecutor General’s Office opened criminal proceedings in this case. Since April 2016, the case was transferred to National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).
In February 2016, a video from a hidden camera appeared, in which a man similar to Alexander Avakov was probably negotiating with the former deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Serhiy Chebotar on the supply of backpacks for the ministry's units.
In April 2018, NABU announced the completion of the investigation.
In July of that year, the case was closed.
It's about the murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet. The car he was driving was blown up in the center of Kyiv on July 20, 2016.
In December 2019, Avakov announced the arrest of three suspects: doctor and volunteer Yulia Kuzmenko, nurse Yana Dugar and musician, Donbas veteran Andriy Antonenko.
The arrest of these three people caused widespread resonance. Subsequently, Zelensky said that it was the investigation of the Sheremet case that would become the litmus of Avakov's work as a minister.
In September 2020, the indictment was sent to the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv.
At the same time, Yana Dugar was released from custody in May 2020. In August of the same year, Yulia Kuzmenko was released from custody under round-the-clock house arrest.
In April 2021, Andriy Antonenko was released from the pre-trial detention center under house arrest.
The Sheremet case has not moved further.
Throughout Avakov's tenure as minister, he was constantly attacked for insufficient use of the Ukrainian language. Simply put, Avakov, being at work, very rarely spoke Ukrainian.
They sued him, staged pickets. But in the end, they did not achieve anything in this regard.
Avakov himself said that in Ukraine it is worth using the Russian language for counter-propaganda, and declared himself a "Russian-speaking Ukrainian nationalist."
Quarrel with Saakashvili
This situation has spawned a lot of memes. It happened in 2015 at one of the meetings of the National Council of Reforms. For those who have forgotten, here is the video.