MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) – A Ukrainian protest leader who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured last month has left Kiev for medical treatment in Lithuania, media reported.
Dmytro Bulatov, 35, an organizer of the Automaidan anti-government rallies in which convoys of vehicles picketed top officials’ residences, went missing on January 22 in the Ukrainian capital. He turned up last week with multiple injuries in a village outside Kiev. He said he had been kept prisoner, beaten and “crucified” by his abductors.
Bulatov arrived in Vilnius early Monday morning and was immediately taken to the hospital, the Baltic News Service reported.
Western officials earlier voiced concern over the activist, and Germany and Lithuania both offered him medical assistance.
Lithuania said last month its clinics were ready to provide free medical assistance to any Ukrainians injured in violent clashes in Kiev. Bulatov is the third person to take the former Soviet Baltic state up on its offer, media reported.
"We are ready to help all injured Ukrainians, and we do not separate them into opposition and others in this case," Lithuanian Health Minister Vytenis Andriukatis told Agence France-Presse on Sunday.
Last week, investigators summoned Bulatov in connection with the street protests, though fellow activists prevented police from taking him away from the hospital for questioning. A court granted him permission to leave Ukraine for treatment abroad.
The Interior Ministry has said it is looking into his alleged abduction.