Protest in support of Tornado ex-fighters takes place near pre-trial detention center

20:21, 14 August 2018

Several dozen people are protesting at Lukyanivka prison in support of the former Interior Ministry specialized troops ‘Tornado’. The protesters brought posters with the demand to free detainees. A part of people came up to Ukraine’s Ombudsman office in Kyiv to ask her to defend the rights of ex-fighters. Other protesters blocked the prison trucks leaving the site. However, the road was soon cleared. Law enforcers in bulletproof vests with batons are ensuring the order.

Earlier, on August 9, ex-fighters of Tornado staged a revolt, protesting against their convoy to different detention centers. Old weapons, homemade explosives and computer equipment were seized from prisoners. When three former fighters were being taken from the facility - their supporters tried to block prison trucks, throwing themselves under the wheels. This led to clashes.

12 ex-Tornado servicemen were detained in summer 2015. They were accused of power abuse, illegal confinement, kidnapping, tortures and rapes. One of the fighters was shot during the arrest. Trials lasted two years and the accused did not admit their guilt. In April 2017, 8 of them were imprisoned for different period and 4 – got a suspended sentence.

Now, the criminal case for creating an armed group is opened. The court hearings are underway.