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Impact of the 2022 Russian military aggression on crime trends in Ukraine

This paper aims at research of the crime trends in Ukraine in the period of January 2013 – October 2022 where a focus is made on the impact of the 2022 Russian military aggression against Ukraine on criminality and national crime prevention policy. 

In addition to the previous author’s conclusions, this paper is focused on issues of the personal characteristics of offenders where a special attention is paid to changes in social characteristics of offenders occurred during the wartime. 

This paper is based on the previous author’s research of crime trends in Ukraine in the period of the 2022 War (Yagunov, Dmytro (2022). Criminal justice system of Ukraine in the wartime: impacts and challenges. European Political and Law Discourse, V. 9, 4, P. 33-51; Yagunov, Dmytro (2022). Сrime prevention policy in Ukraine in the light of crime statistics for the period of eight months of 2022. Вісник ДонНУ імені Василя Стуса, Сер.: Політичні науки, 7. P. 28-46).

Having summarized the presented ideas, the author has come to the following conclusions that reflect the 2022 crime trends in Ukraine.

Crime trends in war-time Ukraine seem to be a very interesting phenomenon for a researcher due to a dualistic nature of such trends. 

On one hand, in ten months of 2022, the same number of crimes has been committed in Ukraine as compared with the whole of 2021. Therefore, it can be more than clearly predicted that the number of crimes for the whole of 2022 would be bigger that the number of crimes which had been committed in 2021.

On the other one, a traditional view on the war-time society as a more criminogenic one is partly refuted by the official Ukrainian crime statistics. 

Even considering partial inaccuracies of official crime statistics, it is possible to define general crimes trends in war-time Ukraine as those which proves that in the light of traditional views on war-time society we could have expected more crimes. Nevertheless, the crime statistics demonstrate a significant increase only in the numbers of those crimes which are directly concerned with the war (crimes against national security, war crimes and crimes against the mobilisation).

In contrast, property crimes demonstrate a rapid decrease although it could have been expected that a lot of Ukrainian citizens would commit property crimes in the light of the ruin of traditional social and economic relations caused by the War.

As far as drug-related crimes are concerned, the analysis of their trends gives more grounds in the favour of the argument that the 2022 War bared a real nature of drug-related criminality in Ukraine where the main idea is concerned with the fact that the illegal drug market is controlled by the police where the police use the potential drug offenders as a permanent source of illegal (corruptive) income of the policemen. Being deprived of other traditional corruptive sources of incomes, the police have reacted to the challenges caused by the War with a ‘deeper attention’ to drug offenders.

A special place in the structure of the Ukrainian criminality is occupied with crimes committed with the use of firearms and explosives. According to official crime statistics, only in ten months of 2022, more crimes with the use of firearms had been committed as compared with a period of 2018 – 2021. Such trends should be considered as one of the most dangerous ones from the point of view of national security. 

One of the main conclusions from research of crime trends in Ukraine for the period of ten months of 2022 is also that the 2022 War made criminality in Ukraine more rural. The ratio between crimes committed in urban and rural areas in 2013 was 4,04. Consequently, the same ratio for the period of ten months of 2022 decreased to the point of 3,32.

Source 1

Source 2 


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