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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Live Day 560

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ihor Humenyuk, Svoboda Member And Front-Line Volunteer Fighter, Arrested For Grenade Attack

Hromadske TV reports that the Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, has identified the man who threw a grenade outside the Rada today, killing one National Guardsman and wounding numerous others, has been identified as Ihor Humenyuk, a member of the Carpathian Sich volunteer unit:

Translation: Avakov: Ihor Volodymyrovich Humenyuk has been arrested. He has identified himself as a member of Svoboda and a fighter in Sich - on leave.

Obozrevatel reports in more detail on Humenyuk, noting both that he has served in the Donbass for more than eight months, notably in the war-torn front-line settlements of Peski and Avdeyevka, outside Donetsk. 

According to Obozrevatel, Humenyuk, 24, is better known by the pseudonym Igor Dubenko, a name he has appeared under in interviews conducted on the front line.

Vasiliy Kruzhak, one of Humenyuk's comrades from the Carpathian Sich assault company, which is now part of the 93'rd Independent Mechanised Brigade, told the news site that his comrade was:

"Calm, cheerful, always smiling, jocular - I do not remember him having been active in discussing political issues or calling for a third Maidan.

He was the last person I thought of when I heard that they had arrested a fighter from Sich - I am astonished that this person could turn up outside the Verkhovna Rada with a grenade."

Humenyuk has been a member of Svoboda since joining it's youth wing - 'Sokol.' Earlier this month, Sokol and Svoboda members threw firecrackers into a venue hosting an LGBT festival in Odessa


The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has uploaded a video of Humenyuk after his arrest, as law enforcement officers search his rucksack, in which they find a grenade, the safety pin to another, and a knife.

-- Pierre Vaux
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov Accuses Svoboda Party leader Tyahnybok for Today's Violence; 125 Wounded, 1 Killed

According to a statement on its web site, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health reported that out of 44 people brought to the hospital after today's violent demonstration, 21 had shrapnel wounds evidently from the grenade which exploded in the crowd.

Others wounded had lacerations, fractures, bruises or concussions.

(There was no conformation from the Ministry of gunshot wounds as has been incorrectly reported in some news accounts, and the report specific "21 with shrapnel wounds.")

Later news reports indicate 125 persons were wounded and it is not clear how many of these have been hospitalized.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov posted an angry "J'Accuse" on his Facebook an hour ago saying that he blamed Oleg Tyahnybok, leader of the ultra-right Svoboda party and a former Verkhovna Rada member for the violence.

Avakov said the young National Guardsman who was killed had been mobilized from Kherson and died on the operating table of wounds from a grenade thrown by a member of the Svoboda
party who was on leave from fighting in the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] with the Sich Battalion.

"Tyahnybok brought to the Verkhovna Rada not protesters, Tyahnybok brought gangsters who killed and crippled our soldiers!," he wrote.

Avakov aid in addition to the one soldier killed, 12 other Ukrainian soldiers were undergoing surgery, one was in a coma and doctors did not provide prognoses for five more.

"This is a political act of protest?!" he asked.

He said among the uniformed men injured today were fighters from the National Guard, the Interior Ministry's divisions including the Protective Service (which guards the president and administration) and the spetsnaz (special purpose) forces as well as Kiev precinct police.

Also injured was Vasily Paskal, deputy minister of the interior.

Said Avakov (translation by The Interpreter):

"Among the approximate 20 injured were soldiers and officers who had passed through the anti-terrorist operation, were awarded with state medals and received early promotions of their ranks -- these are real combat people. And we must keep them here, near the Verkhovna Rada, in order to protect Kiev residents from somebody's political ambitions? I won't accept such politics! I don't accept such a form of political struggle!"
I saw the [police] operations video, I saw the photographs in which Mr. Tyahnybok  was was next to his supporters, together with those who were killing our guys.


One other policeman is in critical condition and may not survive, Levgen Shevchenko, head of the Donbass Battalion said on his Facebook page.

"I'm sitting here at Hospital No. 17 in Kiev. There are so many wounded soldiers of the National Guard that there isn't enough blood from approved donors on the registry and all of it is so wild that my brain refuses to perceive what I see. The doctor in the ER is telling someone over the telephone: "His chances of surviving do not exceed 10% but we are fighting for even that 10%..." Direct blood transfusions are being made -- a number of the guys are in critical condition. I saw so much of this blood at the front that I thought I would never be surprised at anything again, but here, in my native Kiev far from the front it seems like a nightmare..."


As we noted earlier, the police did not seem to be well protected given the severity of the riot. Videos show that after the crowd was already roiling, police were handing out bullet-proof bests to their colleagues on the spot.

Journalists from Channel 5, 1+1 and a French correspondent were also injured in the riot.



-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Videos Show What Happened Before And After Grenade Attack In Kiev

As we have been reporting, a grenade was thrown at riot police in Kiev who were in front of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament. The rally was held by Svoboda party, a far-right political group which is vocally opposed to the Russian invasion in Ukraine and any capitulation to the Russian-backed fighters. One national guard riot policeman was killed. A total of 119 people, mostly police it seems, were injured. The suspect, a soldier in Svoboda's Sich volunteer unit, is in custody.

This video, shot by Hromadske TV, shows scenes from the rally both before and after the grenade was thrown. Some of the men in the crowd wear military uniforms, while others appear to be civilians. At first only a handful appear to have masks to disguise their identity.

The video also illustrates that many of the police who were injured received their wounds before the grenade went off while they were being attacked by the crowd. Though the moment of the grenade exploding is not captured in this video, though videos we have posted earlier (below) show the grenade exploding.

It's also clear that the riot police were not in place initially. While the Yanukovych government was famous for its violent crackdowns on protesters, some may now be asking whether the Ukrainian police presence was robust enough at the start of the rally, as police in regular uniform are seen being rescued by the riot police, and some men in the videos posted today appear to not have their armor on when they initially respond to the violence.

This video, taken after the explosion, shows injured police who are treated and evacuated to a hospital. What is striking is that most of the men are loaded into police cars, not ambulances:
-- James Miller
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Man Who Threw Grenade In Front of Rada Reportedly A Volunteer Soldier On Break From War In Donbass
The man who threw a grenade into the crowd near the Rada today, killing one riot police officer and wounding dozens, has been arrested:

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, says that the man, identified as Igor Vladimirovich Gumenyuk, was a member of the Svoboda party, fighting with a volunteer unit called Sich, was on leave from the ATO (anti-terror operation, the name of the Ukrainian military operation in the Donbass region of southeastern Ukraine). The Interpreter  translates:

The detained man Igor Vladimirovich Gumenyuk used an RGO type grenade [RGO means "defensive hand grenade" in Russian - The Interpreter]...He had one grenade on him when he was detained, the other he threw, and admitted this, and he had a receipt for the grenade. He called himself a "Svaboda member" and a fighter from the Sich battalion who was on leave from August 3 to September 3.

According to Olha Bohomolets, an adviser to President Poroshenko, 119 people were injured in the clashes, in addition to the riot officer who was killed.

Avakov added that 100 police are injured, 10 of them seriously.

Earlier we also carried reports that two journalists were among the injured.

RFE/RL adds that the far-right Svoboda party is blaming the Ukrainian government for today's clashes:

“It was the government, together with the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc, that provoked Ukrainians to protest, putting constitutional amendments that solidify the special status of Donbas and [represent an act of] capitulation to the Kremlin on the agenda and voting for them,” the party wrote in a statement.

It also claimed that law enforcement were first to use force against the protesters, prompting a number of clashes.

“Law enforcement failed to take appropriate measures to neutralize the provocateurs," says the statement. "Obviously, the usage of an explosive device that an unknown threw at the police was a pre-planned provocation against Ukrainian patriots.”

Meanwhile, another video has surfaced which shows the moment the grenade goes off. As you can see from the video, a series of loud bangs (possibly tear gas canisters) can be heard, before a much louder explosion goes off -- the grenade which killed the riot officer. The video is extremely graphic after the 1:20 mark.

We believe that the man who appears to have a head wound at the end of the video may be the riot police officer who was killed, but this has not been confirmed.

-- James Miller, Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Aerial View Shows Smoke Rising After Riot Police Hit By Grenade In Kiev

This video shows today's violence from the point of view of a drone. The video starts not long after the explosion of the grenade which killed at least one National Guard riot policeman and injured many others.

The video shows a relatively small crowd, perhaps several hundred people, many of whom carry flags of the Svoboda party, like this one:

original_big.jpg

The crowds did not disperse after the grenade went off, though it does appear that some people can be seen moving toward the rear and potentially leaving. The video also shows a prompt response from more riot police who quickly appear to reinforce the defense of the parliament.

-- James Miller

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