Gorky Park defenders beaten and hospitalized
There was an escalation in violence on 2 August at Kharkiv’s Gorky Park where activists are trying to prevent new tree felling which is being carried out without any permits, public discussion etc. Loggers and the so-called “municipal guards” beat up 5 of the Park’s defenders, two of whom received serious injuries. The protesters are planning to continue their efforts to prevent the destruction.
The scuffle broke out around dinner time. One activist from Zeleny Front, Andriy Tsukanov needed an ambulance called. He was taken to hospital with suspected concussion, then after an x-ray needed to be seen by a neurosurgeon. He is still in hospital.
The day before, one of the loggers threatened the activists with a turned-on saw. The police did not react in any way.
More than 8 trees have been cut down. Two lorries with wood were stopped and seized by traffic police called by the activists (for lack of any documents, and impounded.
Another group of activists held a picket against the environmental impact assessment department whom they accuse of failure to act . In the Department they say that they are a controlling body and can’t do anything without orders from the Ministry for the Environment.
Towards evening, when the police and municipal guards suddenly left and the activists were heading home, they were set upon by the illegal loggers and a few of them were injured.