KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Protesters hurling firebombs stormed a local police station unit in southern Ukraine after authorities refused to detain one of two police officers implicated in the brutal gang-rape of a young woman.
Residents of Vradiyevka, some 330 kilometers (200 miles) south of Kiev, continued to rally outside the station Tuesday, booing the local governor and vowing to continue their vigil until the officer is arrested. During the storming late Monday, protesters smashed windows, broke doors and set fire to the building, while police fought back with tear gas.
The case has caused widespread anger among Ukrainians, who say that corruption, lawlessness and the impunity of government officials and their wealthy friends has increased markedly since President Viktor Yanukovych came to power three years ago.
The victim, a 29-year-old local woman, was returning home from a bar last Wednesday when she says she was shoved into a car, driven to the woods, raped and savagely beaten by two policemen, aided by a driver. The woman remains in the hospital in a serious condition, having sustained multiple fractures to her skull and bruises all over her body.
One of the police officers and the driver have been detained, but the second policeman — whom the woman identified as the main perpetrator — has remained free, claiming he was on duty at the local police headquarters when the crime happened.