On March, 11, Zmitser Karpenka, a member of the United Civic Party, who is to take part in the oncoming local elections in Homel, held a sanctioned electoral picket, human rights centre Viasna reports.
At one of the posters used at the action he expressed his attitude to the events in Ukraine by writing: ‘Candidate Zmitser Karpenka is against the war and for Ukraine!’
The picket was watched by a police car, but soon it went away. A bit later some hooligans appeared and started assaulting the candidate, rushing to him, using bad language and threats. The strangers accused the candidate of the wish to provoke a war or a revolution, like in the Ukraine, and told him to remove his posters and go there instead.
The hooligans tried to provoke a fight and swore at the candidate. Then they got into their car and continued watching the candidate. Later they went out again, started shouting that the candidate was a fascist, and grabbed his poster.
It’s worth noting that some elderly passers-by also paid a nervous reaction to the electoral picket. One of them started shouting that the USA were trying to start a war and were to blame for the present situation.
To mount resistance to protesters, the ousted Ukrainian authorities were renting titushki, the mercenary support agents of the Ukrainian police force often posing as street hooligans with the express purpose of performing illegal acts. The Titushki’s raid is a widely-used term in Ukrainian mass media and by the general public to describe street beatings, carjackings and kidnappings by unidentified men in civilian clothes from behind the lines of political rallies.