Titushkas advance on Maidan barricades today…

Several hundred ‘titushkis’ advance on protester barricades in Kyiv, but then retreat

 Feb. 8, 2014, 2:18 p.m. |  Kyiv Post

EuroMaidan self-defense groups march through central Kyiv on Feb. 8, after they repelled a potentional attack by a group of people, allegedly pro-government thugs, who advanced on barricades near the protester-occupied Kyiv City Hall.
© Pavlo Podufalov

EuroMaidan self-defense groups say they repelled a potential attack by a group of up to 2,000 people who advanced on barricades near the protester-occupied Kyiv City Hall about noon, but then hastily retreated after a strong show of force from the anti-government demonstrators.

A Kyiv Post journalist on the scene reported that at least 200 of the suspected “titushki,” the slang term for government-hired thugs, retreated by 1:30 p.m. to the Lva Tolstoho metro station and congregated near the McDonald’s restaurant near the metro entrance. The group was not armed and included men of various ages, as well as some women.

One woman told the Kyiv Post that the group is from Donetsk and came to Kyiv because “the city is a mess and we want to clean it up.” Some of the men were haggard-looking and missing teeth.

Another Kyiv Post journalist on the protesters’ side of the Kyiv City Hall barricades had a hard time getting to the front lines because protesters were massed to defend themselves against attack.

The immediate scare lasted less than 90 minutes. It started about noon when a large group of people — several hundred at least — started advancing on Kyiv City Hall on foot with the aim of tearing down the protester barricades. Some of the group had formed near Bessarabski Square, a short walk away. They called themselves Kyivans and claimed to arrive to “free the cluttered city center,” according to Ukrainska Pravda. Some of them wore vests of public utilities employees. Some were carrying national flags. No police were seen there.

In the meantime, EuroMaidan self-defense units mobilized and hundreds of activists lined up, many wearing masks and carrying shields, shovels, sticks and bats. They took up positions outside the barricades near the Central Department Store (or TSuM) that is closed for reconstruction near Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street.

Members of the far-right group Praviy Sector and the EuroMaidan self defense unit march through Kyiv on Feb. 8.

A Kyiv Post journalist followed up to 1,000 of the anti-government EuroMaidan demonstrators up Shevchenko Boulevard on foot for a procession that included blaring patriotic music from a Batkivschyna Party van. The group turned right on Volodymyrska Street and then right again on Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street, before returning to the barricaded encampment on Khreshchatyk Street by 2 p.m.

At least 20 men in the group were dressed in black from head to toe and blocking traffic so the march could continue onward. The crowd chanted in favor of “Praviy Sector” and “Spilna Sprava,” the two militant groups that are in charge of security at the EuroMaidan encampments.

No injuries were reported in the excitement.

Members of the far-right group Praviy Sector and the EuroMaidan self defense unit march through Kyiv on Feb. 8.

The opposition Batkivshyna Party released a statement about 1:30 p.m. in which they claimed today’s rally has the “familiar handwriting of power.”

“This morning about 500 titushi (hired thugs) came up barricades around Kyiv City Hall to dismantle the barricades,” the statement said. “The vast majority of these individuals looked liked paid provocateurs.”

Opposition members of parliament Serhiy Pashinsky, Volodymyr Ariev and Andriy Illyenko were on the scene. “We are convinced it’s a provocation by the Ministry of Interior and interior minister. We also want to appeal to the ‘titushkis” who called themselves Kyivans – don’t shame the dignity of Kyiv residents,” according to the statement.

This entry was posted in English, English News, Maidan Diary, News, Pictures and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Titushkas advance on Maidan barricades today…

  1. chornajuravka says:

    Reblogged this on Euromaidan PR.

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