Ukrainian police investigating disappearance of 36 activists
KIEV, February 3 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian police said Monday that they are looking into the alleged disappearance of 36 protesters as anti-government street demonstrations in the former Soviet nation continue.
“The information is being checked, and soon it will be clear how many of these people are actually missing,” said Sergei Burlakov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.
Opposition group Euromaidan SOS published on Sunday a list of 36 people who they say have vanished since the middle of January. Demonstrators in Ukraine occupied downtown Kiev since November after President Viktor Yanukovych stepped back from signing off on greater European integration.
Last week opposition activist Dmitry Bulatov said he was abducted and suffered torture – including being crucified – in a weeklong ordeal during which his captors sought to extract information about the protest movement.
The incident was dismissed Sunday by the Ukrainian foreign minister.
“Physically, this man is in good condition. The only thing he has is a scratch on one of his cheeks,” Leonid Kozhara said, Al Jazeera reported. “It looks like the alleged story that he was kidnapped and tortured is not absolutely true.”
Largely peaceful demonstrations in Kiev spilled over into violence last month, and up to five people have been killed. Last week Ukraine’s Cabinet of ministers resigned, and the country is currently being run by an interim administration.