Translated by Olia Knight
Cherkasy protesters revealed the actions of Berkut police after takedown of Regional Administration building, reports Censor.NET citing INTV.
“Berkut emerged to the left of the building and started running in our direction, shouting wildly. We moved to the right, where some “titushki” (hired thugs) were waiting for us in their cars”, protester Sergiy Sobko said about the violent beatings by Berkut after a titushki-provoked takedown of Cherkasy Regional State Administration.
“They threw us on the floor of their bus and continued beating us, jumping hard to break our ribs. The floor got slipper from all the blood”, said the activist.
VIDEO TRANSLATION TRANSCRIPT:
“We planned a peaceful protest; we did not have any weapons on us. And when we realized that it was a trap, when a crowd of Berkut ran from the left of the Regional Administration – about 100 of them and started running towards us, we decided to move to the right of the Administration, and titushky were waiting for us there. These people were of middle age, muscular, wearing training suits and leather. We also noticed they had yellow ribbons on their arms. Therefore, at the same time they masked themselves as our Self-defense and to distinguish from us, they wore those ribbons.
When I ran past those cars, I saw how one of our men was knocked down on the ground by two of the attackers with baseball bats. The protester was trying to protect himself, and I ran over to help him out. I dragged one of the thugs away. Later, the second thug started attacking me. Then, the third one joined in, and I got hit on the head and passed out. Berkut police came over and started hitting me with their batons while I lay on the ground around 20-30 times. I regained consciousness and felt their beating.
As a matter of fact, Berkut differed from titushky that they did not hit me on the head (since it was already bleeding); they hit me all over while I was trying to protect myself. They hit me in the same spots numerous times to try to definitely break something.
Afterwards, Berkut dragged about nine of us, badly beaten, to the police car and there they held a roll call. But at first, they dragged us to their bus and put us all on the floor, still beating us ruthlessly and jumping on us with all their weight to break our ribs. I got lucky because they put another person on top of me. And they jumped on that person. Many people asked them not to beat them. I remember there was a lot of blood on the floor, the floor got slippery from all the blood. Then they moved us to the police car where officers of the interior forces were in charge. They were not as cruel; they did not beat us although they packed people tightly in the police car. The cages in the car were very small. Under normal circumstances, they would house one person per cage; the interior forces packed three people to a cage.
There was an older man among us who was not feeling well. He was a diabetic and could not breathe, I kept asking them to let him out or he would die. There were three of us there, two of us standing and the older man on the seat. But nobody paid any attention to him. Then, both of us standing started to ask the police to let the older man out.
My neighbor was a TV reporter from Belarus, from Belsat TV channel, as far as I remember. He showed them his press ID and they finally let him go. We saw him later at the hospital; he got some stitches on his head as well. Thank Goodness I had more serious wounds, and was finally moved from Sosnivsky district police station by an ambulance. There were two other people with me.
I was lucky to escape from the hospital because the police came for me. Two policemen chatted on the floor, since the doctor would not let them see me. He told them I was in serious condition. And there were two policemen at the hospital entrance. My friends helped me escape from the hospital.”