Common people in Dnipropetrovsk are being terrorized by the police and criminals
It began when so-called “titushki”, hired goons obviously protected by state police forces, inflamed a bloody, violent fight with protesters and journalists in Dnipropetrovsk on January 26. But that’s not the end of the story.
On the same day they went on with that violence, brutally beating strangers on the streets close to the Regional Government building and giving them over to the police, who then arrested them. It’s horrifying, but of the 21 people arrested on that day, the vast majority were in fact complete strangers who’d never even attended any protest meetings and who were not in any way related to the Euromaidan movement; moreover, those people did not necessarily even support the current nationwide protests. They were just common folks unlucky enough to be walking around at a time when “titushki” troops were out to implement their plans to get people arrested.
Oksana Tomchuk, a lawyer giving legal support to those people arrested, says it was quite a complicated affair to locate everyone jailed. Even their families and friends had no clue about the arrests being connected to the protest meeting near the Regional Government, so they didn’t call for the help, says the attorney.
Mass arrests of common people in Dnipropetrovsk are unlikely an accident; instead, they more likely are part of someone’s strategy. First of all, incidents of the same kind have reportedly happened in other regions which are assumed to be pro-governmental, i.e. Zaporizhzhia, Cherkasy, and etc. Second, the Dnipropetrovsk incident could be considered an act of terror targeted to frighten and prevent ordinary citizens from expressing any kind of public discontent, no matter how far their level of discontent has gotten.
The Party of Regions is obviously most frightened of mass protests in the “trustworthy” regions, so the government decided to use some serious actions to prevent them. On the other hand, it’s still unclear if acts of terror had in fact frightened the people of Dnipropetrovsk and achieved their goal. It is possible that people politically indifferent beforehand became anti-governmental now.
It’s bitterly cold in Dnipropetrovsk at the moment, and a 15-year record snowfall has come. The weather’s impact currently makes it impossible to predict if the citizens will continue their protest. Let’s see.
translated by Alex Miroshnikov
photo – Dnepr.com; from eurolution.doc