The operation to evacuate Ukrainians and citizens of several other countries from Wuhan, China, resulted in riots and clashes between protesters and the police. According to the head of the National Police of Ukraine Igor Klimenko, over the past day, law enforcement authorities detained 24 protesters in the village of Novye Sanzhary, Poltava region.
They tried to prevent quarantine of those evacuated from the epidemic-affected coronavirus infection COVID-19 of Hubei Province in the outskirts of the village of the National Guard.
“During the clashes in Novy Sanzhary, where Ukrainians and foreigners were evacuated from China, the police detained 24 people,” Klimenko said, adding that 17 protesters were detained in the morning, seven more in the evening.
“We constantly negotiated with them, the dialogue police worked. We tried to convince people of the inappropriateness and meaninglessness of such behavior and such an escalation of the situation. Unfortunately, no arguments of the local residents convinced, moreover, they showed aggression during the negotiations, ”said Klimenko.
According to the speaker of the National Police of the Poltava region, Yuri Sulaev, we are talking about serious crimes, including harming the health of law enforcement officials. The punishment for this offense provides for up to eight years in prison.
After the clashes, nine law enforcement officers and one civilian turned for medical help. On the fact of these events, two criminal cases have been instituted under the articles “Mass riots” and “Threat or violence against a law enforcement officer”.
The riots in Novy Sanzhary began shortly after it became known that they intend to place 45 Ukrainians and 27 foreigners in a local sanatorium, who were transported by plane from Wuhan to Kiev airport by plane. Also, the crew of the liner and the accompanying doctors to be evacuated will be placed in quarantine for two weeks.
According to Interfax-Ukraine, evacuated people were brought to the sanatorium near Poltava by bus, but local residents tried to prevent this.
At first, they tried to block the passage by building impromptu road barriers, and then they began to throw stones and bottles at the buses. Ukrainian media also reported alleged threats to set the medical center on fire with people.
“Groups of aggressively-minded people provoked a clash, so the police were forced to stop the group breaking the rule of law. In addition, one man tried to drive a car over law enforcers. To protect citizens and stop the riots, police officers were forced to apply physical measures in accordance with the requirements of the law, ”the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine said.
Such a reaction caused a wave of misunderstanding and condemnation both in Ukraine itself and beyond. So, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov called the events in Novy Sanzhary one of the biggest disappointments in his life.
“Disappointment in people, in that moral. This is shame for the whole world! People were 22 hours on the road and they were met like that ... Let everyone think about it, ”the minister said at a briefing in New Sanjary, urging everyone to remain people in the current situation. His words are given by UNIAN.
In turn, the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, Zoryana Skaletskaya, announced her intention to move to a quarantine sanatorium for two weeks in order to try to calm the situation.
“I made the decision to join the people in the observation. Together with them I will spend the next 14 days, in the same room, under the same conditions, ”the minister said.
We add that Ukrainian journalists pointed out to the Prime Minister of the country, Aleksey Goncharuk, that the protesters in the area near the Novye Sanzhary sanatorium were not notified in advance of the arrival of people evacuated from the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Arriving at the riot area, the prime minister explained that information about this was limited.
“For security reasons, we limited the information, because we did not want extra provocations to arise, so that someone could take advantage of this to the detriment of our citizens,” 112 Ukraine quoted Goncharuk as saying.
It should be noted that Ukrainians and foreigners evacuated from China could be sent not only to New Sanzhary. And the reaction of local residents to getting a list of possible areas of accommodation in other settlements was equally sharp.
In particular, residents of the village of Konoptovka, Ternopil Oblast, erected barricades at the entrance to the village. They dug ditches, placed concrete blocks and car tires. Similar situations occurred in the village of Kozin near Kiev, as well as in the city of Vinniki, Lviv region.
The situation with the riots was also expressed by the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky. The head of state expressed the opinion that, by their behavior, residents of areas located near quarantine points do not show their best.
“Especially when you consider that most passengers are people who are less than 30 years old. For many of us, they are almost like children. A Ukrainian always remains a Ukrainian, ”Zelensky said. He emphasized that the authorities had taken all necessary security measures, and the sanatorium, where the evacuated people would be placed, would become "the most protected facility in the country."
Later, the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Sergey Yarovoy, said that law enforcement officers in an intensive mode patrol New Sanzhary.
“The police in the reinforced version is serving, organized intensive patrols. We are holding reserve forces here to respond quickly to the situation. We will patrol around the clock, ”he said.
The situation with the unrest in the Poltava region was commented on by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova. She recalled that ensuring human rights is not “an opportunity to shower Molotov’s cocktails and burn tires on city streets,” but a harmonious coexistence of the individual, society and the state, as well as mutual consideration of their interests.
“I have a question for the guardians of Ukrainian democracy: you just set this country as an example for the example of progressive reforms? This is monstrous dehumanization of civil society and disorganization of governance, ”she wrote on Facebook.
“We must already realize that in Ukraine they do not hate Russia, in Ukraine they hate people who do not fit the given standards. And this is chauvinism with all its manifestations, ”Zakharova emphasized.
The director of the Kryvyi Rih ballet troupe FashionPa, 17 members of which were among the evacuated, also commented on the situation. According to Vladimir Bogdanov, he was shocked by what was happening: “Everyone is healthy, everything is fine, there is no temperature, no symptoms. There is a shock from the road, the negativity and savagery of people. ”