A Ukrainian protest leader who was crucified and mutilated during eight days of torture has sent a defiant message from hospital, promising to press on with a "fight for justice".
Dmytro Bulatov, a leader in the AutoMaidan protest movement, told how he endured days of torture. "I was crucified – all my body is covered in blood," he said. "I didn't even see them because they kept my eyes blindfolded.
"They had Russian accents. I couldn't even see because all the time I was in darkness."
Pictures showed that Mr Bulatov's hands carried puncture wounds, possibly consistent with having been driven with nails.
The left of his face appeared to have been slashed and his chest was covered in blood. Mr Bulatov said his captors had mutilated his ear. Speaking in hospital, he said: "They won't stop us and I'm not ready to stop now. I'm feeling better and I'll continue what I started... We'll fight for justice: it's what we were doing – and what we will do."
Mr Bulatov, who organised car protests for the opposition camped out in Kiev, went missing on January 22. His whereabouts was unknown until Thursday night, when he staggered into the village of Vyshensky, five miles south of Kiev, caked in blood.
He had been dumped in a forest, from where he walked to Vyshensky and found help.
Protest leaders have no doubt that the government was responsible. Oleksiy Grytsenko, a fellow activist, said Mr Bulatov had fallen into the hands of "criminals" working on behalf of the state. "We don't know who exactly – but it was, for sure, the state," he said.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said she was "appaled by the obvious signs of prolonged torture and cruel treatment". (© Daily Telegraph, London)