Ukrainian Activist: I Was Crucified
He's become the bloodied face of the opposition movement
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2014 6:00 AM CST
Opposition activists stand guard near the entrance to a private hospital where activist Dmytro Bulatov is being treated in Kiev.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
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(Newser) – US and Russian diplomats traded blame over the volatile situation in Ukraine today, but more attention continues to be paid to an anti-government protester who claims to have been tortured. Not just tortured, "crucified." Dmytro Bulatov says he got kidnapped and held for about a week before his captors left him for dead on the outskirts of the capital, reports the BBC. "They crucified me, so there are holes in my hands now," he said on TV from his hospital room. "They cut off my ear, cut up my face. My whole body is a mess. You can see everything. I am alive. Thank God for this."

Activists are now guarding the 35-year-old after they say police arrived and tried to arrest him. "What was done to Dmytro was an act to frighten all citizens who are being active now," says opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, reports Reuters. Bulatov has said his abductors had Russian accents, a claim that goes to the root of the recent violence—Ukraine's decision to embrace Russia instead of Europe. John Kerry, who is scheduled to meet with opposition leaders in Munich today, complained that "the aspirations of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests," reports AP. But Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov blamed the West for inflaming violence with its support of the opposition. "Why don't we hear condemnations of those who seize and hold government buildings, burn, torch the police, use racist and anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans?" As the US and Russia bicker, Ukraine's president keeps a low profile.