Novi Sanzhary residents share stories about yesterday's mayhem

Source : 112 Ukraine

"These guys aren't the local people. The arsons, the attacks - I believe, it is a provocation", a local dweller says
15:30, 21 February 2020

Protest in Novi Sanzhary, February 2020

A correspondent of 112 Ukraine TV company tells the story of what it's like in Novi Sanzhary town. 

"When you enter the town, nothing resembles of any fights here. Just some police vans on the streets. As we get to Novi Sanzhary's medical center of the National Guard, we learn that people didn't know which of the two roads would be used to transport the evacuated Ukrainians from China, Chinese Wuhan. And they blocked all roads. We can witness the aftermath of what happened here yesterday.

Yesterday, the road was blocked here; they set the tree and car tires ablaze. We watched the video of how the rescuers removed stuff and put out the fire; actually, this is where the clashes with the police took place. And there's one of the entrances to the base of the National Guard unit. 

If we take a detour and drive the other road, we'll see another side where the journalists are on watch. That's where the medical block is; this is where the people are accommodated. However, no one is let inside, and the National Guard fighters patrol the area. According to the preliminary information, there are some 300 of them. 

The caring citizens bring citizens and leave them near the fence. We asked the locals what happened here yesterday and who started the fight. 

Local resident, Ihor, speaks as follows:

Related: Ukrainian with dog not evacuated from China, embassy explains situation

"They lit up a fire on the road yesterday. I stood right here, watching it. And these guys who lit it up were strangers; we don't know them. There were 10 to 15 people. They stuck together. One can watch yesterday's video and see that grandmas and grandpas and some young people were on our side. And these guys who lit up the fire... we don't even know them. These were the trained people, who lit the fire like professionals (...) At first, they burned trees and branches, and then (...), they already burned tires. They were trained. If we were them, we'd burn the tires in the first place, and these guys acted like professionals".

Lyudmyla, another local resident, agrees with him: "I watched it from the first floor, and I saw children under the age of 16; the boys ran and broke stuff. I believe it was a provocation; these aren't the local people. Perhaps, [they live] somewhere in here, I'm not sure, but the main thing is they provoked it. The arsons, the attacks - I believe, it is a provocation. That's my personal opinion", she said.

"They were standing there silently, I approached them to make a point that the wires would be burning then. I was immediately surrounded by three-four people, thrown away and then I left. Those boys were not ours. You can see all of that, the police can figure out that they are not our residents. Why have you not understood this yet and why are all of you blaming Sanzhary? Although it was stated on February 19, that the sick people would be brought to Sanzhary, nobody came out to us on February 20, Avakov did not approach the people. He stood next to the building of administration and that is all. I was in Kyiv yesterday, I was not here, but, according to the stories, he was asked to go out to people, to tell them that only healthy people would be brought to Novy Sanzhary. No one said anything, no one went out, no one told about it,” another resident of Sanzhary added.

Related: Ukrainian who remained with dog in Wuhan published record of phone talk with Zelensky

According to him, on February 19, local citizens gathered at 8:00 pm because they were told that 50 sick people were being brought to them. "11 thousand came by simple planes, but this will be a special flight, they will be brought to us, that is why we all came out," the man said."I understand these people, they were in such a bad situation. They got sick there, they are not accepted here. We understand it all, but the administration had to secure it somehow. The sanatorium is located nearby, we live here, we all use the same drains. If there had been an explanation or if the management had arrived,” Lyudmyla adds.

You can see how close the medical center is to the residential high-rise buildings, we see a 5-story building, a private sector is located just a little further.The town is pretty compact, the medical center is surrounded by a small forest. According to the latest information, two criminal proceedings were opened yesterday, following the mass riots. According to official information, pre-trial restrictions will be set today for those who were detained on February 20. The cases are being opened under the following articles of Criminal Code of Ukraine: riots (Article 294) and violence against law enforcement officers (Article 345). We also know that Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said yesterday that they tried to conceal the situation and the place where patients would be transported in order to prevent provocations, but, apparently, they were not successful.

Related: PM Honcharuk: Events in Poltava region is consequence of information war against Ukraine

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