Activist Dmytro Bulatov went missing around the time that a few other prominent activists were apparently kidnapped during the Ukraine protests.
Bulatov proved more fortunate than one of the activists who was found dead in a forest, but he emerged bruised and bloody, with an account of being tortured and hung up by his wrists.
"My hands… they crucified me, nailed me, cut my ear off, cut my face," Bulatov told Channel 5 television on Friday. “Thank God I am alive.”
"I can’t see well now, because I sat in darkness the whole time," he said, through a swollen face and bruised body, still covered in blood.
Bulatov is a member of the activist Avtomaidan group, which helped ferry protesters and supplies during the ongoing protests in Kyiv.
Missing Ukrainian activist emerges bloody, beaten as tensions continue (VIDEO)
The situation in Ukraine remained tense on Friday, with the army calling on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to take “urgent steps” to ease the crisis.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet Ukraine’s opposition leaders over the weekend in Munich.
The latest from Dan Peleschuk in Kyiv:
Ukraine’s revolution grows radical
The EU’s Ukraine dilemma
7 reasons Russia wants to keep Ukraine all to itself
Photos via AFP/Getty & Dan Peleschuk/GlobalPost
BANGKOK — In Thailand’s capital, voting can require not just a sense of civic duty, but also nerves of steel.
A self-proclaimed “people’s coup” movement — which has already invaded government ministries and vowed to abduct the premier — is now hell-bent on stopping an upcoming election by forcibly preventing voters from entering polling stations.
On Jan. 26, an advance voting day preceding the big Feb. 2 election, the movement gave Thailand a preview of its tactics.
Throngs of protesters successfully shut down almost all of Bangkok’s polling stations. In some districts, they shackled gates with steel chains. In others, they sprawled on the ground to form a sea of bodies, and dared would-be voters to step on their heads.
Many undeterred voters were physically restrained or jeered by noisy mobs.
This generated several unflattering scenes that ricocheted through social media: a would-be voter violently choked at one precinct; a middle-aged woman manhandled in another. There was also resistance: a protest captain was shot dead by unidentified gunmen while shutting down polls. The killing was captured by a camera phone.
“Of course, voters may feel afraid,” said Chaiya, a 36-year-old merchant and protester, who aided a throng of hundreds in forcing a polling station to shut its gates. “We don’t mean to hurt anybody. But they need to know nothing good will come of this election.”
You need nerves of steel to vote in Bangkok
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
BANGKOK — Though life in Bangkok is hardly predictable, there are three constants. It’s hot, it’s loud and the traffic is dreadful.
But the Thai capital’s gridlock — already infamously bad — is set to get a lot worse.
Seven of Bangkok’s most-congested intersections are now blocked off by legions of anti-government protesters. Their strategy relies on generating traffic jams so unbearable that the government will cancel elections and surrender power to an unelected council.
This uprising, called “Operation Occupy Bangkok,” is the latest maneuver by a protest movement that spent much of December invading key government key ministries. That offensive compelled the ruling party — elected in 2011 — to dissolve parliament and call for new elections early next month.
But even that concession has failed to satisfy protesters. Operation Occupy Bangkok’s leaders and their faithful vow to barricade the Thai capital’s traffic choke points until the government capitulates. They refuse to negotiate.
“We’re beyond fear. Past being afraid,” said protester Kwan Issa, 48, who drove from the nearby province of Chonburi to reinforce a blockade on Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok’s busiest thoroughfares. “We don’t want the army to stage a coup. We want the people to do it themselves.”
Bangkokalypse: Thai protestors deploy epic traffic to bring down government
Photos by AFP/Getty Images
NEW DELHI, India — Ever since 1947 when South Asians threw off the yoke of the British Raj, India has been dominated by the Congress party, led by the Gandhi family, with occasional interruptions from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
Now a new force in Indian politics has emerged that threatens to wreck the established order.
Late last year, the Aam Aadmi Party, a ragtag collection of political amateurs, crushed the Congress party in elections for the Delhi assembly. And against everyone’s expectations, the party has taken the reins of power to govern the Indian capital.
The party’s leader, former tax inspector Arvind Kejriwal, engineered a political decapitation by defeating local Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, ending her 15-year tenure as Delhi’s chief minister. He did it resoundingly, with a whopping 25,600 margin.
AAP won 28 seats out of 70. That left Congress with only 8, and ruined the BJP’s hopes of a landslide victory by limiting them to 32 seats. The two big parties dared Kejriwal to form a government and he called their bluff
Anna Hazare-inspired ‘common man’ party takes first step toward its Indian revolution
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
Istanbul’s Taksim Square saw clashes break out between police and anti-government protesters on Friday, as the corruption scandal that has created political turmoil in Turkey spilled into its streets.
In scenes reminiscent of this summer, riot police doused anti-government demonstrators with water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets, as some of the protesters retaliated with rocks and firecrackers.
Protesters yelled “Catch the thief!” calling on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step down after a corruption probe ensnared some of his ministers and implicated his own son.
Turkey corruption scandal sparks anti-government protests
Photos via AFP/Getty Images
HONG KONG — Journalists across China are now boning up on Marxist terminology like the “labor theory of value” and “commodity fetishism.”
The United States “is bent on undermining China” — that’s a “fact” they’re committing to memory.
Their jobs depend on it.
Thanks to a new regulation promulgated last fall, all 250,000 of China’s journalists and editors will have to pass an exam on the “Marxist view of journalism” in January or February of 2014. In the several months leading up to the exam, the government has mandated that reporters take weekly classes to ensure “political consistency” with the Communist Party line.
“Some reporter[s] who lack ethics still have not surfaced,” one Marxist educator told the state-run Global Times. “We urgently need to educate media circles with the Marxist view of journalism. Such education can’t be loosened and should be conducted in a long term.”
China will require its 250,000 journalists to pass a ‘Marxism test’
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
On Wednesday, the nervously anticipated crackdown seemed finally to arrive: In the early morning hours, police moved in on the square, demolishing makeshift barricades and tents, pressing together groups of protesters and shifting them out.
They kept their batons at their side, but their sudden raid was no less frightening.
As the sweep dragged on, speakers on stage — who included Ukrainian pop star Ruslana — rallied supporters, appealed to police to stand down, and called out to Ukrainians across the country to join the protest.
Then, the tide seemed to turn.
“Last night we were praying to god because all our boys are here, but look how it turned out,” said Halyna Yurievna, a 62-year-old retiree who was busy preparing food and warm beverages as the activity picked up.
“We’re standing here and everything is wonderful.”
Dan Peleschuk reported from Kyiv, Ukraine: As a crackdown fails, a protest is reinvigorated
Latest: Ukrainian president intends to sign EU deal after mass protests
KYIV, Ukraine — Ihor Kostiantynovych never thought he’d live to see the day.
But on Sunday night, the weathered, 78-year-old stood dumbfounded and overcome with emotion, staring at the empty pedestal in central Kyiv where a statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin stood before it was toppled by anti-government protesters.
“There’s nothing left of him,” he said. “And thank god.”
For more than two weeks, pro-European demonstrators have rallied in Ukraine’s capital by the thousands, calling for the government’s ouster over its abandonment of key deals with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.
On Sunday, hundreds of thousands rallied in the largest protest yet.
The demonstrations have spawned an array of trademarks: the moniker “YevroMaidan” (EuroSqaure), lapel ribbons that blend the Ukrainian and European flags, and chants — such as “Away with the gang!” — which are shouted rapturously on the streets and in the subway.
But after nationalist protesters dragged the marble statue down with a steel cable and bashed it to bits with sledgehammers on Sunday night, the uprising may have finally acquired its most vivid image.
Elated crowds rallied around the bare mantle, erupting into renditions of Ukraine’s national anthem. Passing cars feverishly honked in support. Protesters called their friends and loved ones with the momentous news.
“Hi Mom,” said one. “Tell grandma that Lenin has fallen.”
Ukraine: Goodbye Lenin!
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Photo by AFP/Getty Images
I can’t have confidence in a state that’s beaten innocent people.