The event, which took place almost in the very center of the French capital a week and a half ago, is shocking in its cruelty.
We are talking about an attack by a group of teenagers on a citizen of Ukraine, 14-year-old Yuriy Kruchenyk. The young man was beaten so that the doctors had to inject him into a drug-induced coma, in which he celebrated his 15th birthday.
They beat me with fists, feet, an iron stick...
On the evening of January 15, Yuriy, along with two friends, was returning from college in the Beaugrenelle district, in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.
Not far from the Eiffel Tower, near the Beaugrenelle shopping center, a group of about ten armed teenagers approached the guys. In the arsenal, the intruders had bats, metal sticks, knives, and a hammer.
Yuriy's friends managed to escape, but the teenager himself stumbled and fell to the ground, after which he was surrounded and severely beaten.
The video, which was later posted on Facebook by French politician Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, shows how Yuriy is kicked and even punched with an iron stick, and one of the attackers jumped on the guy's head.
Witnesses to the incident immediately called the police. Those arrived quickly, but the attackers managed to scatter. A BFM TV source close to the investigation said that a hammer and an iron stick were found at the site of the boy's beating.
8 days in a coma. What is known about the state of Ukrainian?
After the attack, Yuriy was urgently taken to the Necker Hospital in Paris, where he was diagnosed with a head injury with several serious fractures, a hematoma between the brain and skull, brain concussion, as well as a broken nose, finger, and several bruises.
Given the critical condition of the teenager, the doctors performed surgeries and put him into an artificial coma. In this state, Yuriy met his 15th birthday.
This weekend, the guy began to withdraw from the coma. He opened his eyes for 5 seconds, but did not say anything.
"He is slowly starting to wake up, I see that he is very excited. Doctors say that this is normal. He is still intubated and has not yet spoken," said the boy's mother Natalya Kruchenyk-Fargat.
Yuriy's family is constantly next to him.
"The most important thing is that he manages to move his arms and legs, he sees, he hears. But I think that he is very bad, psychologically very bad," BFM TV quotes the teenager's cousin.
The press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleh Nikolenko, in a commentary to Radio Liberty, said the day before the young man's condition remains grave, but a positive trend has emerged.
Later, Yuriy's mother Natalya posted a photo on Instagram. "Yuriy is better today. Thank you for your support and your prayers."
Has anyone already been detained?
Not yet. None of the attackers have been identified to date, writes the Daily Mail.
The Paris prosecutor's office is investigating the incident as attempted murder. The Ukrainian Embassy in France has made an official request to the law enforcement agencies and interacts with them to conduct a quick and impartial investigation.
Ambassador of Ukraine to France Vadym Omelchenko said that he keeps the issue under personal control. The consuls are in constant contact with Yuriy's relatives.
A possible reason for the attack. Revenge?
Investigators speculate that the incident bears signs of an organized gang attack, namely a teenage group from the southern suburb of Vanves.
“The tragedy could have occurred as a result of enmity and conflict between two teenage gangs: representatives of a group from the city of Vanves near Paris attacked young people who lived and studied in the French capital,” writes BFM TV.
Several witnesses to the brutal beatings told the TV channel that the attackers could be heard shouting: "It's us, Vanves."
BFM TV journalists, citing sources in the investigation team, report that the starting point of events on January 15 could have been a fight that had previously occurred between the guys from Vanves and Beaugrenelle, a Parisian group of teenagers. Perhaps then one of the Vanves members was beaten, after which the other members of the group returned to Beaugrenelle to avenge him.
At this point, the investigation does not know whether Yuriy was involved in the Parisian group, or, most likely, became an accidental victim of the attack. Perhaps the guy was mistaken for a rival gang member.
Residents of the quarter in which the attack took place admitted to BFM TV that it was not the first time there was a showdown between teenage gangs. We are talking about at least four gangs that cannot share spheres of influence.
Local residents are asking the authorities to improve security in the neighborhood, as some of them are afraid to let their children play in the yard.
Support and good wishes to Yuriy
The young man's mother Natalya on Instagram repeatedly thanked everyone for the words of support and noted that she was passing them on to her son in the hope that he hears her.
In one of the publications, she said that Yuriy dreams of becoming a professional football player. And, according to her, the son will be "incredibly happy" to learn that he was supported by the striker of the French national team and Spanish "Barcelona" Antoine Griezmann.
"An unbearable event. Strength to you, Yuriy, and a speedy recovery," the footballer wrote on his Twitter.
insoutenables. Force à toi Yuriy et bon
Des images insoutenables. Force à toi Yuriy et bon rétablissement.— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) January 23, 2021
French and Ukrainian politicians and diplomats also express their support to Yuriy. An aide to French President Emmanuel Macron has already talked to the teen's mom, promising her an effective and fair investigation of the tragic event.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "finding and punishing the perpetrators" is not just a demand from the Ukrainian side, it is a matter of civilization.
"An attack that shocks with its savagery, barbarity, hatred ... Who did it? Judging by the video, they are the same teenagers or a little older. Ten for one. They had fittings, cold steel. And there was a goal: to kill, maim, destroy, "wrote the Ukrainian president.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called the incident "an attack of incredible brutality." He stated that the investigation must shed light on the facts and bring to justice those responsible for this heinous act.
Une attaque d’une
sauvagerie inouïe. Soutien au jeune garçon et à sa famille. L’enquête
doit permettre de faire toute la lumière sur les faits et d’interpeller
les auteurs de cet acte immonde. https://t.co/5RE51fReaF
Une attaque d’une sauvagerie inouïe. Soutien au jeune garçon et à sa famille. L’enquête doit permettre de faire toute la lumière sur les faits et d’interpeller les auteurs de cet acte immonde. https://t.co/5RE51fReaF— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) January 23, 2021
The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, expressed her outrage at the incredible act of aggression against the young man.
"The perpetrators must be found and brought to justice," the politician wrote on her Twitter.
Words of support for Yuriy also come from celebrities, including the French actor Omar Sy.