Monday, August 29, 2016


Abducted Kyiv Activist 'Crucified,' Tortured; Police Put Him On 'Wanted' List

Missing activist Dmytro Bulatov turned up in a village near Kyiv on January 30, saying he had been abducted and tortured.
Missing activist Dmytro Bulatov turned up in a village near Kyiv on January 30, saying he had been abducted and tortured.
By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service
A prominent Ukrainian antigovernment activist who disappeared more than a week ago has turned up in a village near Kyiv, saying that he was kidnapped and tortured by unknown men who spoke with Russian accents.

Dmytro Bulatov, the 35-year-old spokesman for the Automaidan protest group, was reported missing on January 23 after disappearing on January 22 -- just after two other opposition activists were abducted, one of whom was later found dead in a forest near Kyiv showing signs of being tortured.

Bulatov was taken to a Kyiv hospital after turning up on the night of January 30. He was being treated for injuries from apparent beatings and torture -- including a badly lacerated ear and puncture wounds on his hands and reportedly his feet.

Bulatov told colleagues that his abductors had hung him up in a manner similar to a crucifixion before eventually taking him down, throwing him into a car, and dumping him in the countryside.

Bulatov, blood caked on his face and head, spoke to journalists on the night of January 30. "I was crucified," he said. "My hands were pierced. They cut my ear. They cut my face. There is no spot on my body that is not injured. You can see yourself. But I am alive, thank God."

Bulatov said that, after he was abandoned in freezing temperatures on the night of January 30, he managed to walk to a nearby village where he telephoned friends who took him back to Kyiv.

Later on January 31, the Interior Ministry placed Bulatov on its wanted list for involvement in "mass riots."

Police and prosecutors visited the hospital where Bulatov is recovering. Supporters were also gathering at the clinic, fearing he may be arrested.

Serhiy Poyarkov, an artist, Automaidan activist, and friend of Bulatov, spoke early on January 31 to RFE/RL outside the hospital in Kyiv where Bulatov was admitted and provided more details of his condition.

"He has no fractures, no concussion," he said. "He was cut, severely beaten, and humiliated. He was kept without food for the last few days. [His captors] wanted to know where our funding was coming from. He was tortured for a long time. They wanted to know who is financing us. He recognized all of us. He has bruises on his shoulders. His ear and [part] of his cheek were cut. His hands and feet were nailed. He was crucified and tortured all these days."

WATCH: Dmytro Bulatov talks to reporters after his ordeal (in Ukrainian).

Bulatov disappeared one day after another abducted opposition sympathizer, Yuriy Verbytsky, was found dead in a forest near Kyiv on January 22 with broken ribs and traces of duct tape on his hands and clothes.

Verbytsky had gone missing on January 21 together with his friend Ihor Lutsenko, an opposition journalist and a key figure in the two-month-old Euromaidan protests.

Lutsenko resurfaced the next day with a black eye and a knocked-out front tooth -- saying that he and Verbytsky had been abducted by a gang of unknown men before being beaten and left to die in the countryside.

On January 31, Amnesty International called Bulatov's treatment "a barbaric act" and demanded an immediate investigation. 

“It is very hard to see a way out the current crisis when such horrific abuses against protest organizers are taking place," Amnesty said in a statement, while also referring to the Verbytsky case.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said she is "appalled by the obvious signs of prolonged torture and cruel treatment" of Bulatov.

In a statement issued on January 31, Ashton said people like Verbytsky "have paid with their lives for exercising their civil rights."

She said added that it was the Ukrainian authorities' responsibility to "take all necessary measures to address the current atmosphere of intimidation and impunity which allows for such acts to take place."

Ashton, who visited Kyiv earlier this week to try to defuse the ongoing crisis, said "all unlawfully detained people have to be released and the perpetrators brought to justice."

The UN human rights office and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, also called for thorough investigations and for those responsible to be punished.

Amnesty International called it a "barbaric act" that must immediately be investigated.

Bulatov's protest group, Automaidan, comprises motorists who joined together in late November to support Ukraine's European integration and to counter police assaults against pro-EU demonstrators in their standoff with Yanukovych and his political allies.

Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the UN's high commissioner for human rights, also said the recent deaths of at least four antigovernment protesters should be "promptly, thoroughly, and independently investigated." 
The popularity of the 5,000-member group and the rapid-response network it has set up to rescue demonstrators from police violence have propelled Automaidan to the forefront of Kyiv's ongoing protests.
Automaidan activists routinely meet with opposition leaders, address protesters on Kyiv's Independence Square, and have held talks with U.S. and European envoys.

WATCH: Locals Recount Finding Abducted Ukrainian Activist
Locals Recount Finding 'Abducted' Ukrainian Activisti
February 04, 2014
RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service traveled to the village of Vyshenky in Kyiv Oblast to speak with local residents who found Dmytro Bulatov -- one of the leaders of Automaidan, the automotive flank of Ukraine's Euromaidan protests -- who said he was abducted, beaten, and then abandoned by his captors in a nearby forest.
With reporting by the "Kyiv Post"
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
January 31, 2014 14:30
"with Russian accents"
half population of Ukraina
speak with Russian accents.
In Response

by: Andriy from: Other
January 31, 2014 19:44
He means it was someone from the eastern part of Ukraine, which are Yanukovich supporters and crooks. That's what he meant.
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 02, 2014 08:20
who speak tha russina speaker are all for Yanucovich ?

This e discrimination

like if i speak that all negros are for obama
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
February 01, 2014 09:18
No, there is a difference in accent between Russian speakers from Ukraine, and those raised in Russia.
Similar to the difference between US & Canadian accents.
Or perhaps more appropriately English and Scottish...
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 02, 2014 08:22
In russian fed
there are 100 , i speak well , pne thousand
different languages

but all them are speaking russina
whit different accents .

So , speaking about russian acent is not so easy

by: Jack from: US
January 31, 2014 14:45
I just traveled to the Ukraine and I personally tortured that clown. And, of course, I have Russian accent because my father was Russian soldier who fought US-and-Saudi-sponsored Muslim terrorists in Chechnya and Daghestan.
In Response

by: Regular Joe from: USA
February 01, 2014 00:11
Did RFE/RL really approve this comment? I know it's easy to become desensitized to and ignore the incessant, monotonous rambling of Jack's odious screed, but allowing a comment that jokes about torturing a man for exercising his God-given democratic rights? If nothing else, this comment shows as clearly as anything Jack has previously written what a vile character he really is.
In Response

by: Jj from: Minsk
February 01, 2014 21:19
That is y joe is just a regular joe, regular sherpish joe. Shows like that specificaly target the audience like joe

by: Alex from: Canada
February 01, 2014 00:01
Nice picture and nice make up. The cast is missing though.

by: Alex from: LA
February 01, 2014 20:08
This has as much to do with Russia involvement and Other Nations that see Russia as the enemy. How much of it is really real? No one knows.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 03, 2014 17:26
Irrespectively of how much in the story of this guy is true, it is of course not what matters. What matters is that - in spite of having spent more than 2 months distroying the central square of Kiev - the German- and US-sponsored hoodlums have not managed to achieve a thing:
- Julia has not been liberated;
- no pre-term elections have been called;
- the EU Association Agreement has not been signed;
- the Russian financial rescue package of US $ 15 billion has not been derailed;
- and Yanek is about to travel to Sotschi to accompany Putin for the opening of the Olympic Games.
So, while some guys waste their time on the street in the cold, the life just go on and no Frau Merkel will manage to stop it :-)!
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 03, 2014 22:21
to be ukrains is a art ....

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