A leading anti-government activist in Ukraine who had been missing for over a week has turned up alive – but covered in blood.
Dmitry Bulatov claims he was abducted, tortured and had part of his ear cut off by men with Russian accents, before he was dumped in the countryside outside Kyiv.
“I was crucified, nailed. They cut my ears and face. And I have wounds all over my body. But thank God, I’m alive,” he said as he showed off his wounds to reporters.
Doctors say Bulatov has numerous cuts but no life-threatening injuries.
His AutoMaidan group used cars to ferry supplies to protesters and visit the residences of Ukraine’s leaders accused of inciting violence.
In Kyiv demonstrators hold President Yanukovych responsible for attacks on their protests and are sceptical of his decision to go on sick leave.
“He lacks the willpower to tell the people personally: ‘I made a mistake, I was wrong, this was terrible, these crimes must be punished’. He lacked the willpower… he pretended to be sick,” said one protester in Independence Square.
The opposition say seven people have died in the protests. One activist’s body was found dumped in a forest, not far from where Bulatov was found alive.
At least one leading opposition sympathiser, billionaire businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko, has suggested the same group carried out both attacks.