Ukraine's New Police Through The Lens
7 July, 2015

What You Need To Know:

✓ Misha Friedman was given exclusive access to the patrol police training period which lasted 4 months
✓ 2,000 new patrol police were part of Ukraine's new anti-corruption campaign
✓ For the first time there will be female police officers
✓ Friedman's other photography projects include displaced Crimean Tatars now living in L'viv; where they integrate into society

“The new police have a desire to create something great for the country, motivated by the revolution… they want to try to live a decent life.” said NYC based photographer Misha Friedman who recently completed a photo shoot of the new police force in Kyiv.

He was given exclusive access to the patrol police training period which lasted 4 months.

New officers are a part of key reform behind the government’s battle against corruption in Ukraine. The patrol force consists of 2000 people and is the first time Ukraine will have female traffic officers.

“A lot of them are young people who saw this an opportunity for a decent career. “

Much of the training was conducted by Georgian police, spearheaded by popular government reformer Eka Zguladze.

“There were also some American trainers from the California Police Department whose job was to train Ukrainian trainers who would then train others,” reported Friedman.

The new Ukrainian police proved very popular with the Ukrainian public, with many onlookers taking photos with them and sharing them online. Social media in Ukraine exploded with enthusiasm over the reform's launch.

Misha also explored photographing people who are internally displaced in Ukraine; focusing on Crimean Tatars who had been relocated to Lviv and Jews from Luhansk who had resettled in Dnipropetrovsk.

“I went to Lviv expecting to see conflict and hardship, but I found the complete opposite. People were working hard and adjusting to Lviv and not blaming anyone for their problems. “

“They have found Lviv to be quite comfortable because they were able to bond with the locals. They found they both have a common enemy” Friedman continues, “they could both blame Moscow for their problems… ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Friedman concludes that he chooses his subjects by analyzing who is most vulnerable, he tries to come up with questions, and then answer them in his photography.

Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with Misha Friedman on July 5, 2015.