F*** off home! Masked men pelt Ukrainian presidential candidate with eggs, pummel his team (VIDEO)
Anatoliy Grytsenko, who is in the race to become Ukraines president in next years election, has accused current head of state Petro Poroshenko of organizing an attack during a campaign visit to the Black Sea port of Odessa.
The former defense minister was due to make a local radio appearance on Wednesday night, but when he arrived at the station, the entrance was blocked by a group of masked men “of athletic build,” according to a statement from his press secretary, published by Interfax-Ukraine.
They handed Grytsenko a carved pumpkin with a dildo stuck in its “mouth”, and the words “F*** off home” written on the side, and attempted to pelt him with eggs.
— Марго (@agentvtylu) November 28, 2018
Fearing a confrontation, the candidate decided to withdraw, but the gang, who did not identify themselves, instead confronted members of his team. CCTV footage leaked to social media shows a genuinely violent scuffle, featuring roundhouse kicks, mace being sprayed, and the aforementioned pumpkin broken over someones head.
A criminal investigation over charges of hooliganism has been opened following the incident.
In a Facebook post, Grytsenko said that three of his team were injured in the fight, with one suffering a concussion and cuts to his face. He added that the identity of the ringleader was widely known, and that the assailants had been acting on behalf of Poroshenko, who faces an uphill task to defeat his rivals at the ballot box.
“Why do you keep using someone elses scythe to cut down your nettles?” wrote Grytsenko, in reference to previous violence committed by shadowy paramilitary groups in the supposed interests of political candidates.
Ukraine faces an election in March next year that is currently impossible to call. The top five candidates, including the center-right Grytsenko, Poroshenko, and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko are all polling at under 20 percent of the votes, and are each within statistical error of the next-ranked candidate.
Observers fear an uptick in the unpunished street violence, which has plagued the country since the breakup of the Soviet Union. It escalated significantly following the Maidan protests in late 2013 that catapulted former industrial tycoon Poroshenko to power.
In an incident on Tuesday, 200 uniformed nationalist paramilitaries occupied a shopping center in central Kiev, demanding that Russian companies be forced out following the Kerch Strait incident at the weekend. Outnumbered, police could do nothing but stand and watch the politically-motivated vandalism.
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