Fracas in Kharkiv was a planned provocation
The Security Service of Ukraine [SBU] has established that the mass disturbances outside 197 Klochkivska St in Kharkiv on 16 December 2006 were planned and organized in advance.
This was reported today, 17 January, during a briefing given by the Press Secretary of the Head of the SBU, Marina Ostapenko.
Ms Ostapenko explained that the SBU investigation had revealed that the actions of a criminal group had been directly run by 4 or 5 active participants.
One of these participants, as the result of a joint operation with the central department “K” of the SBU, was detained on 10 January in Kyiv.
A search is presently underway for the other active participants in the mass disturbance, with this being jointly run by the SBU and divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Ms Ostapenko also stated that as part of the criminal investigation, around 140 people had been questioned, with 7 identification parades and approximately 40 active participants in the events had been identified from the photos and identikit pictures put together by the investigators.
They had also established the identity of 23 people who had approached hospitals and clinics in Kharkiv in connected with injuries (some serious) sustained. These people have been questioned as witnesses and measures taken to identify those guilty of inflicting the injuries.
As already reported, on 16 December, after a rally against the construction of a shopping centre at
197 Klochkivska St in Kharkiv, there were crowd disturbances with individuals being beaten up in the presence of the heads of the City Council and police units. On 18 December the management of the commercial group “Target” accused the Kharkiv City Mayor Mykhailo Dobkin and the Secretary of the City Council Gennady Kernes of provoking mass disturbances and the assaults of 16 December.