In a video that began circulating on Thursday, Ukrainian riot police harass and photograph a naked protester as he stands in sub-freezing weather. According to EuromaidanPR (the protesters' public relations team), there have been several reports to people captured by police being beaten, stripped or shot with rubber bullets. Here, the police are shouting profanities at the man, then force him to pose for pictures with what appears to be a garden hoe.
"A heart-wrenching video of how Ukrainian police treat detained activists. Impossible to watch," tweeted Associated Press correspondent Maria Danilova. "This is how police in #Ukraine treats detained protesters! Terrible video," wrote Olga Rudenko of the Kyiv Post.
Protests in Ukraine turned from violent to deadly on Wednesday. According to The New York Times, there are three confirmed protester deaths, two directly from gunshot wounds. Unconfirmed reports from the Ukrainian media push the tally up to seven deaths. The Euromaidan protests — which started after President Viktor Yanukovych ended talks to join the European Union at Russia's prodding — turned violent again over the weekend when the government banned anti-government rallies. The deaths coincided with negotiations between Yanukovich and the opposition leaders, representatives from the country's minority parties. The talks didn't go well.
Local journalists, as well as Euromaidan's "official PR Secretariat for Headquarters of the National Resistance," aka EuromaidanPR, have been documenting just how bad the fighting has been getting for protesters. At least six activists have been detained by police, and allegedly beaten first, according to Gulliver Cragg at France 24. Meanwhile there have been photos and reports of cars being bashed in by riot police:
And journalists being arrested and beaten alongside the protesters they're covering:
And while the actions of the Ukrainian riot police are reprehensible, that isn't to say that protesters have been peaceful either. One of the three confirmed deaths in the Times report was of a man who fell from a scaffolding he'd climbed to throw rocks at the riot police. And protesters have taken to using sling shots to throw molotov cocktails:
But, some of the protesters have been peaceful, and according to Petro Poroshenko, the Ukraine's former foreign minister, it was one of those peaceful protesters who was shot by police. “This morning, at 8 a.m., 100 meters from me, a peaceful protester was shot dead,” Poroshenko told BuzzFeed at The World Economic Forum at Davos, which Yanukovych was uninvited from. The police have called for an investigation, but also blame the protesters, who they called "members of extremist-minded groups.” Negotiations between the opposition leaders, meanwhile, have been delayed to later on today.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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