Sunday 25 February 2018

Ukranian opposition activist who went missing says he was kidnapped and tortured

Dmytro Bulatov (AP)
Dmytro Bulatov (AP)

A Ukrainian opposition activist who went missing last week says he was kidnapped and tortured, the latest in a string of mysterious attacks on anti-government protesters in the two-month-long political crisis.

Dmytro Bulatov, a member of Automaidan, a group of car owners that has taken part in the protests against President Viktor Yanukovych, was discovered outside Kiev yesterday, eight days after he vanished. He says his kidnappers beat him severely, sliced his ear and cut his face.

Mr Bulatov is among three activists whose disappearances have shocked the country, especially after one of them was found dead.

The protests started after Mr Yanukovych backed out of an agreement to deepen ties with the European Union, but quickly came to include an array of discontent over corruption, heavy-handed police and dubious courts.

Yesterday Mr Yanukovych took sick leave with an official statement saying he had an acute respiratory illness and high fever. There was no indication of how long he might be on leave.

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