MOSCOW, Russia -- Hot on Russia’s heels, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has initiated a debate on giving the country’s militia a new name.
The initiative comes after Russian President Medvedev’s suggestion to give Russian law enforcement bodies – currently known as the “militia” – their old title: the police.
First, however, a special work group at the Ukrainian Interior Ministry will decide if a name change is a good idea, as the transformation will require certain expenditures.
Then, if necessary, the work group will decide on the new name.
The whole country has been invited to make suggestions online via a special page on the Ministry's website.
Among the proposed names are the French "gendarmes" and the Cossack-era "serdyuks".
Strange as it may seem, one option that will not be considered at all is "police" – the Ministry says it reminds people of the fascist “polizei”, which operated in the country during the war.
Ukrainian authorities have different views on the forthcoming change.
Former head of Ukraine’s Road Police Aleksey Kalinsky said that “the Ministry of Internal Affairs has to be reformed from top to bottom.”
Only after that, the official believes, can the country think about a different name for its militia, Newsru.com online newspaper reported.
His colleagues, however, support the initiative, saying that the new name will help to get rid of the Soviet past, Lenta.ru reports.
Astrologist Vlad Ross believes that the first letter in the word “militia” is a symbol of destructive bureaucratic power, which leads to more bribes and racket.
“Change the name – and you will get rid of all these evils,” Ross was quoted as saying by Ukrainian mass media.