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Unknown assailants beat and stab Kharkiv EuroMaidan organizer (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

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Dec. 25, 2013, 1:06 p.m. | Ukraine — by Christopher J. Miller

Kharkiv EuroMaidan co-organizer and civic activist Dmitry Pylypets.
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Christopher J. Miller

Editor Christopher J. Miller joined the Kyiv Post in January 2013. He is an American journalist with experience at daily, weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines. He's also a correspondent for Mashable and GlobalPost, and has published with The Times of London, The Independent and The Telegraph, among others. A native of Portland, Oregon and a graduate of Portland State University, he is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine 2010-2012).

A civic activist and organizer of anti-government protests in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was attacked late on Dec. 24, reportedly because of his role in leading demonstrations there, which are now in their second month.

Just after 9 p.m. two unknown male assailants assailed Kharkiv EuroMaidan co-organizer Dmitry Pylypets, stabbing him four times, while he was walking on Ivanova Street near the apartment where he currently resides, reported online news site MediaPort, whose editor spoke with Pylypets some 30 minutes after the incident.

“About a half an hour ago, I was attacked on Ivanova Street. Two attackers beat me, and I was stabbed about four times with a knife,” Pylypets told MediaPort. “People who were driving by saw that I needed help, stopped and took me to the emergency room.” 

It is unclear who exactly attacked Pylypets and what their motive might have been, but activists told the Kharkiv-based civic organization Maidan that they believe the city’s mayor, Gennady Kernes, to be behind the attack.

Neither Kernes nor his press service were immediately available for comment.

Oleg Rybachuk, a former Ukrainian top official turned civil activist, is leading a grouping of journalists, activists and EuroMaidan demonstrators on a train trip to Kharkiv on Dec. 28 to investigate the stabbing and the broader crackdown in the city of EuroMaidan supporters. They are taking the morning express train around 5 a.m., arriving there at noon and leaving around 5 p.m. for the train that arrives back in Kyiv after 10 p.m.

While the severity of Pylypets injuries remains unclear, it is known that he suffered four stab wounds, including to his thigh and abdomen. 

A video taken after the incident shows medical personnel treating the activist’s bloody wounds.

 

Previously, the car of another local EuroMaidan organizer in Kharkiv was burned, TSN.ua reported.

Thousands of activists in the eastern Ukrainian city have been meeting at a monument to famous poet Taras Shevchenko in tandem with a larger group in the capital Kyiv for more than a month to protest the government's decision in November to suspend a long-anticipated association and trade deal with the European Union and demand investigations into police attacks on protesters as well as the resignations of the country's embattled president, Viktor Yanukovych, and his government.

Kyiv Post editor Christopher J. Miller can be reached at miller@kyivpost.com, or on Twitter at @ChristopherJM.

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