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21 Feb, 2020 15:09

'Ukraine is Europe… of the Middle Ages’: Zelensky slams angry mob who protested against evacuees from coronavirus-stricken Wuhan

'Ukraine is Europe… of the Middle Ages’: Zelensky slams angry mob who protested against evacuees from coronavirus-stricken Wuhan

Protests against Ukrainians evacuated from Wuhan which descended into road blockades and clashes with police have drawn the ire of President Volodymir Zelensky, who said his nation has fallen back into the Middle Ages.

Ukraine has apparently become reminiscent of Europe, something it has always aspired to, but certainly not in a way it wanted, at least according to its own president. Zelensky compared his nation to Europe of the times of witch hunts, inquisitions, and epidemics.

“You know, we always say that Ukraine is Europe,” the president told the nation, referring to a slogan popular among pro-Western elements, which became particularly widespread following the 2014 Maidan coup. “To tell the truth, yesterday, we sometimes seemed to be the Europe of the Middle Ages,” he added, chastising those who staged violent protests in central Ukraine.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian villagers STONE buses bringing countrymen evacuated from Wuhan to coronavirus quarantine (VIDEOS)

The protesters opposed the idea of their fellow citizens being evacuated from the coronavirus epicenter in Wuhan.The president called on his nation’s citizens to “remember that we are all humans” while saying that he could not describe the protests as “human behavior.” He also wished the evacuees good health and expressed hope that they would soon be able to reunite with their families.

A group of evacuees, including 45 Ukrainians and 28 foreigners, that arrived in Ukraine from Wuhan on Thursday were less than welcome at home. Anxiety and suspicion among people in the central Ukrainian village of Novi Sanzhary, over the prospect of potential  carriers of the new coronavirus heading their way, soon boiled over into violent protests.

The villagers cut off the road leading to a nearby National Guard medical facility that was expected to host the evacuees, prompting the police to intervene. The protesters then clashed with the officers, and an armored vehicle was used to remove the road blockade.

Also on rt.com Riot troops & armored vehicle sent to small Ukrainian town as residents attempt to block evacuated coronavirus patients (VIDEO)

Later in the day, villagers pelted buses carrying the evacuees and their police escort with stones, damaging the vehicles and injuring almost a dozen officers, five of whom were hospitalized.

It is not the first such protest in Ukraine. Roadblocks were previously established in the Ternopil and Lviv regions in the west, following the rumors that a quarantine facility might be set up there.

The novel coronavirus which originated from Wuhan has infected more than 75,000 people worldwide and claimed at least 2,000 lives over the two months since the first case was recorded.

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