Internal Troops of Ukraine

The Internal Troops of Ukraine (Ukrainian: "Внутрішні війська України, Vnutrisni Viys'ka Ukrayiny"; abbreviated "ВВ", "VV") is the uniformed gendarmerie-like force in Ukraine. Internal Troops are subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine (the police authority of the country) [There is an on-going legal and political dispute over subordination of the troops.] and is used to deal with large-scale riots, internal armed conflicts and to safeguard important facilities such as nuclear power plants.

During wartime, the Internal Troops fall under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian armed forces and fulfill the missions of local defense and rear area security.

In case of a state of emergency, the Internal Troops fulfill a special regime of emergency nation-wide or throughout the declared zone of emergency.Dubious|date=March 2008

The Internal Troops of Ukraine retain much of the personnel, bases, equipment, and traditions of the Soviet Internal Troops, as Soviet VV units that were stationed in Ukrainian SSR at the moment of the dissolution of the Soviet Union felt under jurisdiction of the newly-independent Ukraine. However, Ukrainian VV troops are not a direct successor of the Soviet Troops (unlike in Russia) and experienced substantial reformation of their structure and tasks.


Evolution of Internal Troops structure and tasks

Soviet Internal Troops units in Ukraine were initially reorganized into the National Guard of Ukraine - an interim national military created while the Armed Forces was under formation. But later the troops regressed back to their traditional tasks, and eventually original name, as the National Guard was formally liquidated.

Recent reorganization attempts

Now, after a decade of existence within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Internal Troops undergo a new period of reorganization. In May 2007, the on-going political crisis in Ukraine lead to a jurisdiction dispute over the troops. President Viktor Yuschenko issued a decree placing Internal Troops from the Ministry of Internal Affairs directly under the jurisdiction of the President. Later, on May 25, the Internal Troops command loyal to the President ordered an unprecedented and dramatic march on the capital Kiev. The MVS criticized both the decree and the subsequent troop move.

Sides of the political crisis managed to avoid further clashes between law enforcers. The Internal Troops subsequently returned back to their routine tasks and have re-established practical co-ordination with the militsiya. However, the legal dispute over the troops remains unsolved. The Troops command declares its loyalty to the President - according to the decree which is currently appealed in the court by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Internal security during election unrest

The Orange Revolution was a series of peaceful protests that overturned an election for the Presidency in the winter of 2004-2005 resulting in the election of Viktor Yushchenko.

On November 28, 2004 over 10,000 IM (Internal Ministry) troops mobilized to put down the protests in Independence Square in Kiev according to their commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Popkov. The SBU (Ukrainian Security Service, successor to KGB) warned opposition leaders of the crackdown. Oleksandev Galaka, head of GRU (military intelligence) made calls to "prevent bloodshed". Col. Gen. Ihor P. Smesko (SBU chief) and Maj. Gen. Vitaly Romanchenko (military counter-intelligence chief) both warned Popkov to pull back his troops, which he did. Thus, the senior officers of the Ukrainian Security Services claimed the credit for averting a situation that they said risked bloodshed and, possibly, a civil war. []


Despite reporting to a civilian militsiya authority, the Internal Troops of Ukraine are a military-like force with centralized system of ranks and service. The Chief Commander and Staff of the troops maintain their separate chain of command, and the VV units (batallions and regiments) are under the command of territorial commanders who in turn report to the Chief Commander. The units are stationed in military bases throughout the country, including a base in the center of capital Kiev.


*Assisting "militsiya" in policing
*Crowd control at mass events, anti-riot operations
*Safeguarding and defense of top-important facilities and special cargo's
*Safeguarding external perimeters of foreign embassies in Ukraine
*Dealing with internal armed disturbances and terrorism (including some special forces tasks)
*Maintaining state of emergency regime


The Internal Troops of Ukraine are experiencing a slow transition from the Soviet conscript system (similar to that for the Soviet Army) to the contract personnel system. VV officers are trained in the special Academy of Internal Troops.

Weapons and equipment

ee also

*Internal Troops
*Berkut (Ukraine)
*Military rule


External links

* [ Official Website] (Ukrainian language)
* [ English page of the official Website] (obsolete page content as of June 19, 2007)

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