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Rada enlarges powers of border guards: They are allowed to use weapons and military equipment

The Verkhovna Rada adopted a law (No. 5232) on enlarging the powers of the border guards. In particular, the document improves the procedure for the use and application of coercive measures, military equipment, and weapons. The decision was supported by 271 People's Deputies.

The document grants border guards the right to carry out a visual inspection of persons, their belongings, vehicles, and personal search of еру detainees, to inspect and, if necessary, seize belongings that may be material evidence or cause harm to the life or health of people.

The border guards can also use and apply equipment of visual and technical observation and recording, technical equipment of border control, lighting and signaling equipment, engineer ammunition, installations and barriers. Also, the bill allows them to use handcuffs, helmets, tying nets, rubber and plastic batons, equipment filled with tear and irritant substances, and spike strips. Border guards can use grenades, ammunition, and small explosive devices to forcibly open premises or remove obstacles to detain a person who does not fulfill the legal requirements of a serviceman.

The bill also allows the use of firearms, in particular, to repel an attack on a serviceman or an employee of the State Border Service in the case of a threat to their life or health, to protect people from attack, to release hostages or persons illegally deprived of their liberty. Also, weapons can be used to repel an attack on protected facilities, as well as to detain a person who has committed a serious crime and is trying to escape.

In addition, border guards will be able to use firearms to stop transport if the driver by his actions poses a threat to human life or health, forcible termination of the flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle operating within the frontier region, above or near ships, boats and support vessels, as well as in order to prevent attempts to forcibly take possession of weapons, military and other equipment and to prevent the hijacking of an aircraft.

It is forbidden to use coercive measures against women with obvious signs of pregnancy, the elderly, persons with evident signs of disability, and minors, except for cases when such persons commit a group and/or armed attack or resistance or if there is an immediate threat to the life or health of a serviceman or employee of the State Border Guard Service or another person if it is impossible to repel such an attack or resistance or eliminate the threat by other means and equipment.

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