Deliberate attempt to provoke disturbances?
Extremely worrying reports are coming through suggesting attempts to provoke disturbances during the huge and peaceful EuroMaidan demonstration now underway in Kyiv. The civic initiative OZON which monitors freedom of peaceful assembly warns of a suspicious lack of police officers where they are needed, leaving provocateurs a free hand.
There are large contingents of Berkut riot police stationed around the President’s Administration on Bankova St and it is probably no accident that a group of individuals in masks commandeered a tractor and began moving in that direction. Hromadskie.tv reported around an hour ago that nobody knows who the people are and desperate attempts have been made by other demonstrators to stop them, with shouts of “this is a peaceful demonstration”.
The police have already managed to report the incident and claim police officers have been injured. According to the Police statement here, there were around 200 assailants who took over a municipal tractor “for their unlawful actions” and stormed a cordon outside the administration. It asserts that 5 officers received injuries and three have inhaled some unidentified gas.
Given the clear attempts by peaceful demonstrators to restrain either hot-headed or paid young people from taking action so clearly designed to achieve nothing, but cause injury, the absence of police officers away from the President’s administration and cabinet of ministers building, etc, is telling.
OZON states that despite the huge numbers, there are virtually no police officers to be seen and no measures are being taken on the streets to protect those taking part in the demonstration (and the public generally).
OZON calls on members of the peaceful gathering to be especially careful and to not become the victims of deliberate attempts to cause trouble.
They ask people to phone 102 if they see such instances and demand that the police intervene.
PLEASE circulate this information.