Titushka Sasha Starchenko is a 30-year old pro-government supporter who came to Kyiv from Kharkiv, the second biggest city in Ukraine. On February 18, during severe clashes between protesters and riot police, he was on the side of police. Starchenko switched on his camera and started shooting video when riot police was attacking protesters from Self Defense units. He shot five videos and posted them to YouTube. Those videos were one the bloodiest ones from this day in Ukrainian Internet.
The videos showed riot police and thugs, including the author himself, were beating to death protesters. Starchenko himself was shouting “Beat them, beat!”, picked up stones to throw them into protesters and bet them with bat. Video also showed thugs shooting wounded protesters with a gun. The video has been viewed 226,000 times on YouTube in two days.
Since Sasha Starchenko have registered accounts in social media under his real name, users have easily identified him in VKontakte, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. The information about Starchenko has been widely disseminated in social media and users rushed to comment against him. On Feb 20 Starchenko deleted all his accounts in social media. Nevertheless, the video and his public photos have continued to circulate in the Internet. On Feb 22 someone registered a fake Sasha Starchenko account and posted all five original video changing the original titles.
When I published a post about Starchenko in my Facebook profile on Feb 22, it brought additional attention to the character – 2550 users reposted my post and left 90 comments. Many comments called to bring Starchenko to justice. The information about thugs fighting against protesters is being collected on a special site http://skoty.info/. The site has been launched by Democratic Alliance political party.
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