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1 Oct, 2014 03:05

‘Over my dead body’: Defiant Ukrainian MP beaten by nationalist mob (VIDEO)

‘Over my dead body’: Defiant Ukrainian MP beaten by nationalist mob (VIDEO)

A Ukrainian parliamentarian and former minister of emergencies was attacked and beaten by a group of radical nationalists in the port city of Odessa on Tuesday. He was to take part in a press conference ahead of the country’s parliamentary election.

READ MORE: Violence erupts near toppled Lenin statue in Kharkov, Ukraine (VIDEOS)

Nestor Shufrych, a deputy from toppled President Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of Regions, was diagnosed with a brain concussion and closed craniocerebral injury after he was “welcomed” by Odessa activists from the Right Sector, AutoMaidan, and other right-wing political groups, the regional office of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported.

Shufrych was going to make a statement to the media alongside members of the opposition, as part of a political campaign preceding the October 26 parliamentary election. The event was first organized in an office, but was later relocated to the building of the regional administration.

The MP explained that he had known about the pre-planned action, which was aimed at “repeating the performance with garbage cans and green disinfectant.” However, he said there was no way the “activists” could force him into that.

They wanted to put me in a waste container, but the only way they could do it would be over my dead body,” he said, recalling the case of Vitaly Zhuravsky, another prominent Party of Regions member.

READ MORE: Protesters dump Ukrainian deputy in rubbish bin (PHOTO, VIDEO)

A group of about 30 people cornered Shufrych in the building, along with Nikolay Skoryk, ex-chairman of the regional administration. Saying they needed to “ask him a few questions,” people wearing masks and camouflage rushed Shufrych out into the street, where they beat him up.

According to the politician, around 100 people gathered to support him, and “nearly the same amount of people were on the side of the Right Sector and this so-called self-defense, as we were told.”

Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko

Shufrych’s bodyguards fired in the air to disperse the angry crowd, with no success. They then managed to drag him out of the scuffle and hurled him inside a van which immediately left the premises.

Police reportedly did not immediately respond to the violence, despite being in the area.

Speaking to the press from the hospital, Shufrych promised to return to Odessa.

“Believe me, soon we will put an end to this lawlessness. And we will do all we can to clear the city from these evil spirits,” he said.

READ MORE: Remember Odessa: Protesters across Europe recall May 2 massacre

Over 40 people were killed in Odessa in May after becoming trapped the Trade Unions House which was set on fire. Radicals – who are believed to be largely responsible for the tragedy – have placed the blame on the Ukrainian MP.

Following the incident, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov expressed concern that Europe and the US might turn away from the Kiev government due to intensified attacks on members of parliament by Right Sector radicals.

A few more assaults and “Europe will turn away from our victorious revolution. I am afraid the US will too,” Avakov said on his Facebook page. He also urged people to uphold the law and turn away from the opinions of radicals.

READ MORE: Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca aim to invade Ukraine’s parliament in upcoming election

On September 16, crowds outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev seized Vitaly Zhuravsky, deputy for the Economic Development Party, as he left the building for a break, and put him in a trash bin. Zhuravsky was forced into a trash can full of rubbish, while the crowd cheered “Glory to Ukraine!”

The same thing happened to Viktor Pilipish, who was seized by radicals and pushed into a garbage bin in Kiev after arriving to submit his documents to the Central Election Commission.