INFOGRAPHIC: More Money for Ukraine's Bloated Police Force

Some pictures are worth a thousand words – and so are some infographics.

The visualized data on Ukraine's law enforcement that many Ukrainian Facebook users have been sharing this month tells us that the country's police force is huge and has been receiving more and more state funding over the past few years.

According to the first infographic, which has been shared by 1,160 Facebook users, Ukraine has 644 police officers per 100,000 people. Ahead of Ukraine are Belarus with 1,441 police officers, Russia with 975, and Kazakhstan with 713. Canada ranks the last, with only 193 police officers per 100,000 of its citizens.

The number of police officers per 100,000 of population.

Police officers per 100,000 of population. Source:

Below are some of the most typical responses from Facebook users.

Wladislav Stromecki [ru]:

A typically [sovok] approach – quantity over quality…

Alexander Goosecow [ru]:

The regime is so scared of its citizens. Very telling.

Nikolay Chupashkin [ru]:

Looks like the first four countries can easily succeed in creating not [the Customs Union], but the Police Union! Everything is ready!!!

Volodymyr Bury [uk]:

One of the possible ways of interpreting the notion of job creation.

The next infographic looks at the funding of Ukraine's Prosecutor General Office, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Security Service. The agency responsible for policing (the figure in the middle) got 15 billion hryvnias for 2013 (approx. $1.8 billion), which is 3.2 billion hryvnias (nearly $400 million) more than it received in 2010.

Victor Yanukovych's Police State: how funding for law enforcement agencies has been growing in 2010-2013, in billions of hryvnias.

Victor Yanukovych's Police State: how funding for law enforcement agencies has been growing in 2010-2013, in billions of hryvnias.

User Anatoliy Kostyukh wrote [uk]:

A police state – they are calming us down and intimidating us with the help of the Interior Ministry, and they are also guarding their loot this way… […]

The third graph, which was shared 402 times on Facebook, shows that science, with its 3.1 billion hryvnias (approx. $100 million) from the state budget in 2012, isn't a priority in Ukraine – unlike the police, which got nearly five times that amount last year.

Ukraine: state funding of police vs. state funding of science in 2010-2012. Source: RFE/RL.

Ukraine: state funding of police vs. state funding of science in 2010-2012. Source: RFE/RL

User Mamay Kozak wrote [uk]:

The level of funding of science shows the Ukrainian government's colonial nature.

Violeta Magarit wrote [uk]:

We'll get the dinosaurs: strong, aggressive, and with pea-sized brains.

To put things in perspective some more, here is a short video infographic [ru] about the Ukrainian police, produced in January 2012 by “Prostyye Chisla” (“The Simple Numbers”; ru; on Facebook; on VKontakte):

The video starts with the “quantity” part already covered above – but also addresses the “quality” aspect:

  • Since 2006, crime rate in Ukraine has grown by 18 percent;
  • Some 200,000 Ukrainians are serving their sentences in jail; in the prison population per capita ranking, Ukraine is the world's #8;
  • 87 percent of Ukrainians do not trust law enforcement officials;
  • In one study, 43 percent of respondents reported that they did not get any assistance from police when they needed it;
  • In 2010, 780,000 people became victims of police violence, and, according to official records, 50 people died in police custody that year.


  • […] Ultimately, institutions lose so much credibility from habitual exploitation of information asymmetry that they become desperate to hide their own weaknesses through further secrecy, just as a hollowed-out authoritarian regime comes to lean more and more heavily on the fear inspired by the secret police to maintain a semblance of legitimacy. (Hence the pejorative police state, which is apparently funny  to Ukrainians.) […]

  • […] The Ukrainian police seem to love their mobile phones, as shown here in Dnipropetrovsk and Kiev. They may be on official calls, of course, but crime in Ukraine has risen 18% since 2006. […]

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