Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Deputy minister resigns after video of his altercation with police goes viral

by Sergiy SlipchenkoDecember 14, 2021 12:12 am
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Ex-Deputy Interior Minister Oleksandr Gogilashvili speaks at a briefing on Oct. 30, 2020 in Kyiv. Gogilashvili resigned on Dec. 13, 2021 after a video of his altercation with police went viral. (mvs.gov.ua)

Deputy Interior Minister Oleksandr Gogilashvili submitted his resignation after a video surfaced of him yelling insults at police officers trying to establish his identity.

The Cabinet of Ministers accepted Gogilashvili's resignation on Dec. 13 after President Volodymyr Zelensky urged them to dismiss the official.

Gogilashvili caused the scandal on Dec. 8 as he was leaving eastern Donetsk Oblast. Police pulled him over and asked for his ID. The deputy minister became incensed and verbally attacked the officers for not recognizing him.

An 11-minute-long video of the incident was posted to YouTube on Dec. 11. It immediately attracted public controversy and earned a reprimand from Zelensky.

News outlet Ukrainska Pravda later reported that this wasn't the first time that Gogilashvili has yelled at the cops and published a similar video from late November, where he's seen insulting police who pulled him over in Kyiv.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dynILzbyoZg

In a Facebook statement on Dec. 11, the now former deputy minister apologized for his "excessive emotionality."

Gogilashvili had held his deputy minister job since September 2019. According to the ministry's website, his role involved fighting against drug trafficking.

Gogilashvili's wife, Maria Levchenko, has been a longtime adviser to Zelensky, since before he went into politics, Ukrainian media reported.

The Center for Journalist Investigations reported on Dec. 12 that Gogilashvili has had a valid Russian passport since 2003, something he had not previously disclosed.

Gogilashvili is associated with a network of drug addiction rehabilitation centers. Investigative journalists have reported that the rehabs commit people against their will and torture them.

Sergiy Slipchenko
Sergiy Slipchenko
News reporter

Sergiy Slipchenko is a staff writer at the Kyiv Independent. He studied at York University in Toronto, Canada and worked as a reporter at the Kyiv Post.

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