>> They are the most visibly successful reform to have emerged from the pro European Maidan protests in 2014. But now insiders say Ukraine’s new police force is under threat. The new recruits quickly became internet stars as citizens posed for selfies. Their popularity largely stemming from the fact they didn't demand bribes.
However the chief of staff of the National Police quit in march, exhausted by the push back against change. He told Reuters before Maidan police would always do what the prosecutors say, then it changed.>> National Police position itself as separate and equal law enforcement power. And prosecutor did not like it.
We had a history of relationship between National Police and general prosecution in Ukraine. And became worse, actually. And you never felt safe for yourself from that point.>> He says tension is now blocking reform. Prosecutors have the power there to launch investigations into public servants suspected of wrongdoing.
A power which police officers say is being abused. The General Prosecutors office have not responded to the allegations.
With the help of U.S. money and training the force was set up as part of a recent branch reform to weed out endemic corruption. Launched in July the patrol officers seem to be everything those dreaming of a new Ukraine had hoped for. But their experience is perhaps, a sign of how fragile the country's transformation into a Western-facing free market democracy could prove to be.
In the case of the Police, some are finding old habits die hard.