Berkut Riot Police remove T-shirts critical of the government
During a protest action on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [[Independence Square], officers from the Special Force Berkut police unit removed T-shirts with the caption “Thank you residents of Donbas” [the present regime is closely associated with the eastern Donbas region, especially Donetsk – translator]. Journalists were informed of this by the head of ProstoPrint which printed the captions, Denis Oleinykov.
“We gathered here for an agreed protest action which was approved by the Kyiv City State Administration. The action planned to acquaint people with the creative output of young Ukrainian designers who are critical of the present regime’s actions”, he explained.
“You know we have the right to not like the authorities. They do not have the right to not like us. We make no secret of the fact that we don’t like this regime and we came to show that you can dislike this regime in a creative and interesting fashion”.
According to Mr Oleinykov, the organizers showed their documents on arrival to the police and no questions arose. Then, 20 minutes later, a police officer turned up and said that the T-shirts could be shown, but not sold. Therefore the organizers set up a box for donations – anyone wishing to receive a T-shirt could offer their contribution. “At exactly 6 o’clock, Berkut arrived and without any explanation of the reasons took away the T-shirts, tried to take away the box with donations and took them away in an unknown direction”.
Asked about their future actions, he stated: “We will now return to the office and print twice as many T-shirts”. He also promised to ask business owners to support them so that such T-shirts could be handed out on the street for one UAH or for nothing.
Half an hour later a group of people, together with Kyiv City Council Deputy Oleksandr Bryhynets returned the box with men’s T-shirts. Bryhynets explained that the box had been taken to the Shevchenkivsky District Police Department and returned to him with an inventory.
The T-shirts are continuing to be handed out on Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
Photo from Radio Svoboda