Riots on Bankova: Avakov comments on police actions
All those detained during the protest on Bankova Street in Kyiv were released. According to the police, about two thousand people took part in the demonstration, who gathered to express dissatisfaction with the sentence of Odesa activist Serhii Sternenko. Protesters threw fireworks and snowballs at police, injuring 27 police officers, who were hospitalized with eye burns and minor injuries. 24 participants of the clashes were detained.
Deputy of the Interior Minister Avakov, Anton Herashchenko provided details on the air of the Ukraine 24 channel.
"Brutal force was used against the police yesterday: police and National Guardsmen were sprayed directly in the face and eyes with tear gas, helmets were torn off; state property was burned by individuals posing as patriots. We won't allow such treatment of police. We demand from protesters to protest under the Constitution, which means protesting peacefully, without violence, without attacking the police.
We will now publish a video and footage of brutal attacks on police officers. This can't be justified, it's dishonest and unfair. Parasiuk (ex-People's Deputy who took part in the demonstration- ed.), I think, should be responsible for his offenses," he said.
Herashchenko said he was waiting for the detained activists in the future.
"We held preventive conversations with the detainees, it was decided not to prosecute them given that the injuries of the police were minor. But in the future, we warn we will not allow the police and the National Guard to be treated like this. They are also citizens of Ukraine. They have moms, dads, kids, and they don't deserve it.
My assessment of the event was that their task was to force the police to punch back at these people. We specifically did not give the police either batons or tear gas to prevent police violence," he said.
On February 23, the Prymorskyi District Court of Odesa sentenced activist Serhii Sternenko to 7 years and 3 months in prison with confiscation of half of his property in the kidnapping case. Prior to the appeal, he was in custody.
Sternenko denies involvement in the abduction and insists on the political motivation of the case.