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Clashes near President's Office in Kyiv: Police used tear gas, detained several protesters

Source : 112 Ukraine

Supporters of radical activist Serhiy Sternenko demand that the Ukrainian government release him; on February 23, the man faced seven years of imprisonment under charges with kidnapping and illegal storage of weapons
22:30, 23 February 2021

Clashes during rally in support of Sternenko, Kyiv, February 2021
Open source

Clashes between the police and supporters of radical activist Serhiy Sternenko are underway in Kyiv, next to the building of President's Office. The people demand that the goverment release Sternenko, who faced prison term as the court in Odesa found him guilty of kidnapping and illegal storage of weapons.

According to Strana.ua, the law enforcers used tear gas against protesters who throw snoballs, fireworks and smole pellets at them. Correspondents who reached the site claim that the police detained at least 11 protesters; the data is correct as of 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Related: Sternenko's lawyer says Zelensky offered him official position

As is known, Sternenko faced sentence of seven years and three months; currently, he's at the remand centre in Odesa. The court found him guilty of kidnapping and illegal storage of weapons.

Odesa's Prymorsky court also ruled that half of Sternenko's property would be confiscated. The defendant was taken into custody; as of Tuesday afternoon, he is at the remand centre in Odesa.

The charge papers include three accusations - robbery-related assault, illegal storage of a weapon, and the act of kidnapping. The court ruled that Sternenko was involved in the kidnapping of Serhiy Shcherbych, the MP of a district authority in Odesa region. 

It took the court five years to look into the case and make the verdict.

As for the charges with illegal storage of a weapon, Sternenko claimed that he willingly handed a collection knife and a starter gun over to the police in 2015. At that, he specified that according to the gun expertise, it was a starter gun. And then, it appeared that an Interior Ministry's expert who ran the procedure took the plug from the gun's barrel and this, he was able to fire rubber bullets from it. Sternenko summed up, saying that "the expert turned the starter gun ito a rubber-bullet handgun; however, he himself pointed out that it became a firearm".

Sternenko believes that the charges against him were trumped up.

Related: Scuffle between police, supporters of far-right activist Sternenko in Kyiv

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