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Police caught lying – again

27.08.2011    source:
Ukrainska Pravda’s Serhiy Leshchenko clearly demonstrates that the police statements categorically denying the use of teargas by Berkut officers against demonstrators on Independence Day are false. Nor is this the only disturbing fact about the confrontation

In both his blog and an article on Ukrainska Pravda, Serhiy Leshchenko writes that the police have for some time now had a reputation for particularly feeble lies.  Just one of the previous examples he cites was the story for why the Minister of Internal Affairs was driving about in a Cadillac Escapade jeep.  This had supposedly been donated to Mohylyov by unknown sponsors for “representative purposes”.

The latest lie is much more serious. 

Leshchenko writes that on 24 August - Independence Day., the entire country saw on video that teargas had been used against opposition protesters.  In one of the videos you can see gas pouring out of at least one canister, while in another a Berkut officers is trying to conceal the gas canister which had been noticed.

A police representative at the time said that “no special means were used”, and by the next day the police were prevaricating.

The Head of the MIA Central Headquarters, A. Lazaryev stated that the canister “may have been some kind of personal hygiene item, or perhaps other spray devices which are sold in perfumery or domestic goods shops.  However it was not teargas, that is categorical”.  He claims that it had been decided not to issue officers with certain types of defence, these including gas canisters.

Serhiy Leshchenko writes that all you need to do to catch the police out is to look closely at the video footage.

It is clearly visible from the image that one Berkut officer is holding a “Cobra” teargas canister. He gives some details about the makeup and effect of this teargas and suggests that if Lazaryev believes that this is a deodorant, let him try it on himself and then share his experience with the public.

More details are provided about the run up to the confrontations in Leshchenko’s article “Deodorant” for the Opposition,

“The skirmish on 24 August between opposition protesters and the police was an illustration not merely of the political crisis in the country, but also of the additional phobias of the enforcement bodies.

After all a court ban on peaceful assembly does not merely prove the authorities’ unpreparedness for peaceful protesters. It would seem that the police’s aim is to create a microclimate in the country which would knock out of those in dissent any wish to take part in protests.”

The attempts to stop protests began a week before the date. On 18 August the Head of the Kyiv Police Oleksy Krykun addressed a letter to Oleksandr Popov appointed by Yanukovych to be in charge of the Kyiv State Administration.  This asks the Administration to apply to the court for a ban “in order to avoid scuffles” between members of various political groupings.

Most importantly the letter ends with a list of the specific restrictions proposed, and suggests changing the time of the demonstration in Shevchenko Park to 12.00, and the route the marchers follow to include Volodymyrska St. 

It was there that the marchers were met by a double cordon of police and Berkut officers  According to the author, the court order which allowed the Kyiv Administration’s application, gave a list of the streets where protests were prohibited.  This also did not include Volodymyrska St, although the police blocked their path and informed them that the court had banned their movement along the street.

As reported , this prompted the protesters to try to break through the cordon.   The police have now initiated a criminal investigation, claiming that 6 of its men were hurt, and is denying that its officers used teargas.

All photos and the videos can be seen here

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