Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Several dozens of Ukrainians came to the Cabinet of Ministers on Grushevsky Street on June 21st begging the police and the authorities to stop the attacks of criminal fighters on their families.
Protesters described to the correspondent of the Federal News Agency (FAN) that people in camouflage almost daily beat them, demanding to sell for nothing their land on which their houses reside. Moreover, they regularly throw so-called “molotov cocktails” into certain houses.
The woman by the name of Anna told said that people are so frightened that they abandon their houses and run to other areas of the country, rescuing their property that can be taken away – cars, furniture, equipment. At this time the land abandoned in this way are immediately seized by gangs of people calling themselves veterans of the ATO, and members of voluntary battalions.
“I am a resident of Bucha. My neighbors and all of us are afraid. People come, they make threats because the high-rises are under construction. I am afraid, but I come for a meeting, but the most part are afraid and don’t come. And we are not even offered money for the land, they simply enter and plunder. We are not protected, we can’t do anything. We ask to protect us from this. Is the police waiting for when we are killed or turned into invalids? What should we do so that the authorities intervene?” shouted Anna indignantly to the FAN camera.
Other participants of the action confirm – in general the situation with extortion in Ukraine became critical: not only entrepreneurs already became the victims of racketeers, but also ordinary citizens who have at last some property. The police don’t intervene or qualify the attacks of bandits as “petty hooliganism“.
“So they take away everything, and impudently: they simply enter into the house as a crowd and start beating your children, your wife, and you. Until you you give everything. And people give – what else can they do? My neighbor’s car was burned because he didn’t sell his land. Then his wife was beaten within an inch of her life. Then he himself was beaten twice, he is in hospital. And now, whilst he’s in the hospital with his wife, his house has already been occupied! And the police make a helpless gesture, saying that it is a dispute between economic entities, go to court. What court – we even don’t know the names of these bandits, we know that they in a military uniform and that they call themselves veterans of the ATO,” said to FAN one of protesters who refused to give their name.
The secretary of one of the ministers came outside to meet the protestors at the end of the day, who reported that “the authorities will take drastic measures” against the ungirdled fighters. But this promise was met with a jeer – people didn’t believe the official and left disappointed.
It is noteworthy that representatives of large Ukrainian media agencies in general ignored the action – some bloggers and journalists of small TV channels came to Grushevsky street with cameras.
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