I was tortured, Ukrainian protester kidnapped and held for more than week claims

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Ukrainian police have opened an investigation into the kidnapping of an opposition activist, who said he was held captive for more than a week and tortured.

It was the latest in a string of mysterious attacks on anti-government protesters in the two-month-long political crisis.

Dmytro Bulatov, 35, a member of Automaidan, a group of car owners that has taken part in the protests against President Viktor Yanukovych, went missing on January 22. He was discovered outside Kiev on Thursday.

He said his kidnappers beat him, drove nails against his hands, sliced off a piece of ear and cut his face. He was kept in the dark and could not identify the kidnappers. After more than a week they eventually dumped him in a forest.

“They crucified me, they nailed down my hands. They cut off my ear, they cut my face. There isn’t a spot on my body that hasn’t been beaten,” Mr Bulatov said. “Thank God, I am alive.” His face and clothes were covered in clotted blood, his hands were swollen and bore the marks of nails.

Mr Lutsenko was kidnapped from a hospital, where he had brought a fellow protester, Yuri Verbitsky, to be treated for an eye injury. Mr Verbitsky was also beaten severely and later discovered dead. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was appalled by Mr Bulatov’s treatment and also condemned the death of Mr Verbitsky.