Unknown in masks turned Kharkov activists back from Kiev

Members of several Kharkov NGOs traveled to Kiev in the evening of January 20. They planned to spend January 21 on a peaceful rally in support of the course of the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych near Mariinsky Park.

Early in the morning, two coaches with activists arrived in the capital. On the Staronavodnytska Street cars blocked the coaches. Masked men with bats came out of the vehicles. “They blocked the road with emergency flashlights and started to approach us. First, the first coach. They thumped on the coach with metal objects and bats. Then they came to the second coach. The driver asked what was the matter. They started to beat the window with bats. Thank God the window sustained the damage and did not break," said one of the organizers of the trip Mikhail Litvinov.

According to passengers, after that the men ran inside and tried to pull the driver out on the street. Kharkovites maintain that one of them had a gun. “He kept his finger on the trigger and approached everyone. After him, a young man with a hand grenade entered. We think it was noise grenade. We were called names like “titushki” and “Muscovites”. Though many of the passengers are women. And they said, if we have appear in Kiev, the coach will be set on fire," said Litvinov.

Kharkov activists were forced to return home. Among the 98 passengers, 27 were women. Coach passengers said that until the end of Kiev two cars accompanied them.

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