Ukrainian activist in hospital after 'kidnap and torture'
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 01:42
Feb. 4 - As protests fight on in and parliament convenes in Ukraine, activist Dmytro Bulatov arrives in Lithuania for treatment. Sarah Toms reports.
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Independence Square in central Kiev.....the scene of fierce clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters.
Despite the bitter Ukrainian winter, demonstrators set up camp here, blocking the avenue with barricades of metal and tyres.
They've been calling for the resignation of President ViktorYanukovich for two months, after he backed away from a deal with the EU, and accepted a bailout from Russia.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) PROTESTER FROM IVANO-FRANKIVSK, MYKHAILO, SAYING:
"Although we have our jobs and we have to work, but still we will come here. Some people will leave, the others will come. We will stay here till the very end."
At least six people have been killed in the past two weeks.
The government hopes the opposition will end its campaign and step up negotiations.
On Tuesday, parliament convenes to debate calls for a broader amnesty for detained protesters, and a return to an earlier constitution, restricting presidential powers.
But the opposition remains defiant.
The severely injured Ukrainian opposition leader arrived at this hospital in Lithuania for medical treatment.
(SOUNDBITE) (Lithuanian) VILNIUS REPUBLICAN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL SPOKESWOMAN, AGNE IGNATAVICIENE, SAYING:
"Dmytro Bulatov, who was brought into the hospital last night, had said this morning that his condition is bad. He was not been feeling well and has complained of strong headaches."
Dmytro Bulatov claimed he was abducted and tortured, causing outrage among protesters.
Despite the injuries, Bulatov says he will not be deterred from continuing the fight for democracy in Ukraine.
But as the attacks grow more viscious and more militants join this protest camp, the fears grow that Ukraine could descend into civil war.
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