12:51 16.01.2013

Svoboda demands probe into police actions during Ukrainian, Russian foreign ministers' visit to Chernivtsi

2 min read

The deputies of the faction of the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union in Chernivtsi Regional Council have demanded that the regional prosecutor conduct an investigation into the abuse of office by police officers during a meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia in Chernivtsi, the press service of the Chernivtsi regional branch of Svoboda reported on Tuesday.

The head of the Svoboda faction in the regional council, Nazar Horuk, announced this at a press conference on January 14.

The appeal to the prosecutor contains a demand to investigate and make a legal assessment of the actions of police officers and unidentified individuals in civilian clothes who used physical force against Ukrainian MP Ruslan Zelik, the head of the Svoboda faction in Chernivtsi Regional Council, Horuk, Chernivtsi Regional Council deputy Vitaliy Melnychuk and residents of Chernivtsi.

Horuk said that law enforcement officers and unknown persons in civilian clothes had prevented the Ukrainian MP from meeting with voters. He also denied a statement by the prosecutor's office on the beating up of a police officer by nationalists.

"We made a video recording of all events. Everybody can see firsthand who really was beaten up," he said.

"We will initiate the holding of an extraordinary session of the regional council, where we would like to hear explanations from the leadership of the office of the Interior Ministry, the prosecutor's office and the SBU regarding the behavior of police officers on January 13," Horuk said.

As reported, the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia held the seventh meeting of the subcommittee on international cooperation of the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission in Chernivtsi on January 13-14.

Several opposition parties, including the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union, said that they would hold rallies during the meeting.

On the evening of January 12, District Administrative Court banned the holding of rallies and other events in Chernivtsi on January 13. Despite a court ban, Svoboda and seven other opposition parties said that they planned to hold the rallies.

On January 13, about a hundred Svoboda activists, holding the party and red-black flags, marched from the central square to the residence shortly before the arrival of the ministers. They were stopped by law enforcers on Schepkina Street.

After that, the protesters tried to break through the police cordon. A scuffle broke out, in which a group of young people helped the police stop the Svoboda activists. They broke several Svoboda banners.