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додано: 27-10-2004
BBC:: The protestors assaulted by the plain-clothed police
Maidan English Edition

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The protestors assaulted by the plain-clothed police - Kyiv, 23
October, 2300 local time, 2000 GMT

At 11 pm on Saturday the 23th of October the participants of the
demonstration near the Central Electoral Committee in Kyiv were
attacked by a 50-something strong crowd of youths in plain clothes.
In the afternoon (about 1600 local time) as the massive opposition
rally in central Kyiv was drawing to a close, about six people from
inside the crowd started throwing smoke bombs in the windows of
Central Electoral Committee's (CEC) building. The police, according to
the witnesses, made no attempt to arrest them. At this point the
protestors detained these people themselves and handed them over to
the police. Opposition MPs took down their names and denied that these
people had any connection with the opposition. Later that day the
detainees were released. Yevhen Chervonenko, the member of parliament
from Nasha Ukraina (our Ukraine) opposition bloc that supports Viktor
Yushchenko, said to the BBC: "They were released despite the fact that
they took part in the acts of terror".

The remainder of the protesters' crowd stayed in front of the CEC
building through the rest of the evening till 11 pm local time,
awaiting the CEC to announce the results of its meeting.

The committee was discussing the opening of the polling stations
abroad. Namely, the stated intention of the Central Electoral
Committee (CEC) was to open about 450 polling stations in Russia. The
opposition claimed that there weren't any reasons to open so many and
that the letters from Ukrainians living in Russia where they asked the
officials for the additional polling stations to be opened were

According to witnesses and opposition MPs who were in the square, at
about 2300 Kyiv time they saw the arrival of about four mini-buses.
Approximately 50 plain-clothed youths with sticks got out of the
buses, approached the crowd and started beating people up. Later the
witnesses said the attackers used hammers and wooden boards with
nails. The own security of the CEC and the present MPs intervened, at
which point the attackers quickly dispersed. Three of those trying to
escape were chased and detained by the protesters and opposition MPs.
Ambulances were called and 11 people hospitalised. Witnesses said one
woman-protestor was slashed with a knife in the face. None of the
wounded were in critical condition.

The three detainees were searched by the CEC security and the MPs
inside of the building. Two of them had police IDs - one of police
captain and one of senior inspector. They also had police guns and a
knife stained with blood.

The editor-in-chief of the "Glavred" web-site Yulia Lymar told BBC about the sequence of events: "about 2300 Kyiv time, when there were about 300 people in the square, several mini-buses with darkened windows approached the square. About 50 people got out and started beating people up - the people that were in the square. The CEC
security reacted to this. Promptly the MPs arrived - some that were
inside the CEC building, and some came over. The opposition
presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko at that point was inside of
the building, so he went out to the square. When the deputies began
arriving, the assaulters started running away. Three of them were
detained. Mr Stretovych, the head of the parliament committee for
fighting the organised crime, showed the journalists what was found on
them during the search. We were shown two police officers' IDs - one
in the name of captain Handaray and one was seniour inspector
Oksenyuk. The ID of the third one we weren't shown, but we were told
he was an employee of the private security firm. They had two Makarow
hand-guns, typically used by police, two sets of bullets and a
blood-stained knife. Mr Stretovych said that the knife was used to
slash a woman in the square, therefore, as he says, this knife is a
proof so nobody touched it. Eleven people were taken to hospitals from
the square - I heard that two had knife wounds and the rest suffered
beatings. MPs Chervonenko and Poroshenko were in the square at the
time of the assault".

After the attack the CEC security and some deputies called the police
special security forces Berkut. Upon arrival Berkut clashed with MPs.
The police spokesman claimed later on Sunday the opposition deputies
initiated the fight. The opposition has denied the claim and blamed
police for "provocation".

The opposition MP Yevhen Chervonenko told the BBC on the night of
attack: "after the assaulters left - and it was plain-clothed police,
because the detained were policemen - from the sides the uniformed
special forces Berkut launched an attack. They were wearing hard hats
and had sticks. We heard the orders by their commander to free those
detained three, who were inside the building at the time. I heard the
order. Viktor Yushchenko was punched, too, because he tried to save a
woman in the square. But we dragged him away. The pro-government
deputies that were in the CEC at the time didn't react at all to all

The next day the police press-office issued a statement in which
blamed the disturbances on the opposition MPs. The police now claims
that two police officers were in the area on a separate business
providing security to a client and didn't take part in the assault.
The opposition stands by their original accusations. President Kuchma
said on Monday that from Sunday night it was clear that the opposition
is bloodthirsty and will not stop before causing disturbances.
Presidential hopeful Viktor Yushchenko said on Sunday that these
events were a "rehearsal" of a so-called "power scenario", where the
police and army cause severe clashes on the night of elections and
blame it all on the opposition. The minister of the interior Mykola
Bilokon urged Ukrainians on Tuesday to "stay in, watch the TV, drink
beer with your wife and not ask for any trouble" on the day of
elections, Sunday the 31th of October.

Ukrainian language version is here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/ukrainian/domestic/story/2004/10/041023_beating_cvk_mps.shtml

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