A British tourist says he was brutally assaulted by a group of young men in central Kyiv who he believes targeted him because of his appearance.
Liam Tong, 23, wrote in a January 19 Facebook post that he was attacked earlier in the day by three "teenagers" or "young adults" and left lying in blood-soaked snow in the Ukrainian capital as the assailants fled.
In the Facebook post, which includes photographs of his bruised and bloodied face, Tong wrote that his injuries from the attack included a fractured nose and damage to several of his teeth that left him in excruciating pain.
Tong, who has piercings in his lips and nose as well as hair dyed blue and pink, said his attackers did not steal any of his belongings.
"Basically I was pretty heavily attacked based on what I assume was my style," he wrote.
Anna Zubreva, a district police spokeswoman in Kyiv, said police had opened a probe into the matter, Ukraine's Hromadske Radio reported on January 20.
Following the incident, Tong was assisted by Maria Makukha, a local psychologist who wrote on Facebook that she found the victim lying bloodied in the snow as she was leaving work shortly after 2 p.m. on January 19.
She described Tong as a "young British hipster" and said he was likely attacked "just for fun" due to his "nonstandard appearance."
Makukha added that Tong had arrived in Kyiv by himself to tour the city.
Tong told RFE/RL in a Facebook message that he believes he lost consciousness for a few seconds and that he thought he would die if his attackers did not stop beating him.
He said that he managed to catch his plane home later on January 19, adding that "there are bad people everywhere in the world and this should not scare anyone from traveling anywhere."
With reporting by RFE/RL senior correspondent Carl Schreck and Hromadske Radio