Wednesday, June 29, 2022

the last book I ever read (Andrey Kurkov's Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, excerpt ten)

from Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev by Andrey Kurkov:

Wednesday 19 February

The Berkut, mounting a counter-attack, took the barricades in Hrushevskoho Street, and seized Ukraine House and the October Palace. At the same time, its men began moving on Institutskaya Street, forcing the Maidanistas back. The retreating protesters gathered in the Maidan, about eight thousand of them. They set fire to anything they could find in order to create a barricade of flames. All night, there was fighting and gunshots. Who shot at the berkutovtsy? That is a mystery. Who shot at the Maidanistas, given that the Minister of Internal Affairs stated that the Berkut were not using real bullets? It would seem that, in parallel with the Berkut, there exists a group of plain-clothes officers, armed with sniper rifles, assault rifles and ordinary pistols. About one in the morning, they stopped a taxi driving Vyacheslav Yeremey, a journalist from Vesti (‘News’), near my office at the corner of Vladimirskaya Street and Velyka Zhytomyrska Street: after beating him up, they shot him in the chest. He died in hospital.

The hospitals are overflowing right now. But many of the wounded are in hiding, from their friends as well as from strangers. They are afraid of going to hospital because the police have often abducted injured protesters from there to take them to the station, without offering them any medical care.

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