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    Posted January 25, 2014 by
    Lviv, Ukraine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

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    After Torture Incidents Ukrainians Occupy Regional Government Administrations


    (KYIV, UKRAINE - December 22) Torture, killings of Ukrainian citizens, foreign and local journalists, propaganda, outrage and despair have gripped Ukraine all at the same time. In Lviv, as a result, people have seized the seat of the regional government administration, which is appointed by the President, and now surrounded the Governor's Office with huge barricades.


    Massive protests have been taking place in Ukraine, a country of 45 million people, for two months now. There are two main sources of public resentment. The first one is the new laws that were adopted on January 16, 2014 by the Party of Regions and the Communists during a hand vote. The laws drastically limit the freedom of expression and assembly, among other things. According to the new legislation, all NGOs receiving grants from abroad are required to be labeled as "foreign agents" and pay heavy taxes. The second part is the violence and torture.


    Until recently the protest movement was manifested primarily in Kyiv. But now strong dissent has spread to many other regions of the vast nation. Two days ago the special riot police called Berkut started torturing demonstrators in Kyiv whom they manage to get caught. The Berkut police unit from Kharkiv caught a 17-year-old Mykhailo Nyskoguz. Berkut militiamen stripped him naked, cut up his buttocks with a knife, while forcing their captive to sing Ukraine's national anthem. Berkut also forced to undress in freezing temperatures another 34-year-old protester Mykahilo Havryliuk. Berkut forced humiliated him as they took pictures of the naked protester to later upload the images to social networks for bragging. The Government responded to such appalling actions coldly, stating that the incident, which had been videotaped and widely watched, merited further investigation. In addition, 5 to 7 people were reported to have been killed in the last few days in Kyiv.


    Such turn of events has outraged people in many cities of Ukraine. In Lviv and 9 other major cities in Ukraine people have captured government buildings in hope to win their freedom back.

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