Police confirm criminal investigation over attack on picketers
The Odessa Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated on Monday 3 September that a criminal investigation has been launched over the attack on supporters of the All-Ukrainian Organization “Svoboda” and the civic organization “Prosvita” [“Enlightenment”]. The MIA spokesperson said that the file has been opened under Article 296 (malicious hooliganism). Around 40 supporters of the organization Yedinoye Otechestvo [Common Fatherland] were reported to have beaten up the victims, with four people hospitalized, and some of the injured including women taking part in the meeting.
As well as the above mentioned groups, the participants in the picket on 2 September also included members of the Ukrainian Republican Party “Sobor”, OUN – UPA [the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - Ukrainian Resistance Army] and others. As already reported, they were protesting against plans to erect a monument to Catherine the Great. There were no more than 20-30 picketers who had been on the square outside the Odessa Regional Administration building for around 30 minutes when they were set upon using metal rods and knuckle-busters.
The pickets had been hoping to meet President Yushchenko and express their opposition to the monument. The latter has aroused considerable anger (and bemusement) given Catherine the Greats treatment of Ukraine.
loosely based on information from «Українських новин».