Reporter Says Detained and Beaten in Kiev

A reporter for Lenta.ru filming riots in Kiev was reportedly beaten after being detained Thursday.

The reporter, Andrei Kiselyov, called his colleagues at about 7 a.m. from a police van, saying he had been seized and beaten by police officers from the Berkut special forces unit, Lenta.ru reported.

He was kept in custody for eight hours over an unspecified misdemeanor charge and released by Thursday afternoon with no charges against him.

The protests in Kiev descended into violence Sunday after legislation was passed cracking down on demonstrations. By Thursday, the riots had resulted in hundreds of injuries among demonstrators and police, as well as the deaths of three demonstrators.

See a video of the protests filmed by a Moscow Times correspondent here:


Kiselyov was apprehended on Vulitsa Hrusehvskogo, the main battleground between protesters and police, Ukrainian Internet magazine Vesti reported.

He was detained along with a group of other people armed with baseball bats who were chasing buses containing Berkut unit officers, an unidentified source at Ukraine's Interior Ministry's press service told Interfax.

Kiselyov was released at about 3 p.m. Moscow time from Kiev's Oblonsky District police office, Lenta.ru reporter Ilya Azar wrote on his Twitter account from Kiev. He had been "seriously beaten" and needed to "have his eyebrow stitched," Azar wrote.

Azar also posted a photo of Kiselyov after his release on Instagram, which showed Kiselyov's swollen, bloody face.

Police had also reportedly mocked Kiselyov by "keeping him on his knees on the snow for 90 minutes," Azar wrote.

According to Reporters Without Borders, as of Jan. 21 at least 26 media personnel had been hurt while covering the protests and clashes in Kiev. Most were injured by stun grenades, rubber bullets or other nonlethal projectiles. Fourteen of them said they were deliberately targeted by security forces.

On Wednesday afternoon, Unian news agency staff was evacuated from its office in central Kiev over the riots, RIA Novosti reported.

Late Wednesday, 20 unidentified people stormed into the office of the City Hall-linked television channel Kiev in the city center, taking the personal belongings of staff, several computers and some furniture, RIA Novosti reported, citing witnesses. The objects stolen were later used to construct barricades.

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