After breaking a military curfew, an Irish anti-vaccination protester held at gunpoint in Kyiv escaped from the besieged Ukrainian capital following frantic attempts to board a train on Thursday. Three.
Mayo man, in his thirties, is an anti-establishment committed protester who broadcasts under a pseudonym on Youtube.
He is the older brother of a senior Garda and comes from a respected family.
It is understood that he traveled to Ukraine on February 16th and started live streaming his journey through the streets of Kyiv.
He streamed interviews with passersby, asking some if they believed the threat posed by a Russian invasion or whether they thought it was a media scare. Western communication.
The man’s family members had no idea he had traveled to Ukraine until contacted by the Irish Independent.
The native Mayo, a London delivery driver who did not wish to be named, describes himself as a “citizen journalist” and has spoken out strongly against the media.
Before that, he chased and filmed prominent British journalists outside the houses of parliament in London.
There are significant concerns for his safety after being held at gunpoint on Saturday night.
In an attempt to prove to his Youtube followers who questioned whether he was really in Ukraine, he left his hostel in central Kyiv while the city was under lockdown. military rigor.
In the live-streamed footage, since deleted, the Mayo man was intercepted, interrogated and searched by two Ukrainian armed officials.
In an interview with an alternative Youtube news channel, the Mayo man said he was afraid he would die.
“I know there’s a curfew. I’m standing outside the inn.
“There was gunfire in the air. It sounded like a fighter jet somewhere.
“Some people in the chat said you weren’t in Ukraine, so I said stupidly that I was going to run down here where the Ukrainian flag is.
“There’s a building nearby where I can get a better view of the skyline.
“I left my phone on the stand, and I was scanning the sky for some kind of gunfire, and the next thing I just heard some people screaming, I don’t know what.
“I saw this big guy in plainclothes pointing at what looked like a Glock (pistol).
“I just got to my knees, raised my hands in the air and showed that I was unarmed. I just said: ‘Journalist, journalist’.”
“My Irish passport and documents were in my left pocket.
“I don’t even want to put my hands in my pockets they don’t understand. I’ll show them my passport in case they might think I have a weapon.
“I was pointing at my pocket. So in the end, they opened my jacket and checked my Irish passport.
“One guy was pointing a gun at me all the time, right at my head.
“He opened his passport and said ‘Irland’, then he went into the office and did some checks.
“The other guy was just standing there, and I was on my knees, hands in the air.”
“For a split second, I thought this guy was going to assassinate me.
“Then the guy came out, and they told me to pick up the phone.
“I used google translate to say ‘I’m leaving now; I’m going to the bomb shelter (sic)”.
“Then his mate came out and dropped a cartridge on the ground and said, ‘Get my ammo.’
“I take that as a suggestion.
“They just said ‘Go’.”
As he fled, he said he was afraid he would be shot in the back.
“When they jumped out, I thought it was me that was gone. Trust me; when I knelt, I was praying.
“I should thank those two for not killing me. Honestly, looking back now, it was ridiculously stupid. I was smug. It was silly.”
In the interview, Mayo’s man said he arrived in Kyiv after purchasing a £20 one-way Ryanair flight from London a few days before commercial flights to Ukraine ceased.
He explained the reason for traveling to Ukraine was because he wanted to report on issues that were important to him, like the anti-vaccination protests, outside the UK.
He had considered traveling to Paris but feared that a vaccine certificate would be required.
He also said the flight to Kyiv was cheaper than the train to Paris.
The Mayo man is staying in a dormitory surrounded by government buildings in the heart of Kyiv and will check out on Saturday.
As events unfolded over the weekend, he became increasingly depressed, telling his YouTube subscribers that he feared he had missed his chance to flee the city.
He woke up on Tuesday morning to discover that the entire dormitory he was staying in had been abandoned.
“They even took tea bags,” he said.
In response to messages from subscribers urging him to leave Kyiv immediately or go to a bomb shelter, he said he tried to do both throughout Monday.
One person posted: “What are you still doing there? The boarding window is narrowing. Best you can get to Lviv. From there you have to walk the last 40 miles to Poland because they only let women in. women and children. on trains in Lviv.”
He replied at 7 a.m. Ukraine time: “I was at the train station for four hours.
“Every time a train arrives, there’s chaos; it fills up.
“I went to a bomb shelter but will try to get out today when the curfew ends at 8am.”
The Irish Independent was later able to confirm with the Mayo man that he had managed to board the train to Lviv.
He said he had been in contact with the Irish embassy, who was unable to provide him with assistance.
However, he found the British embassy “very helpful.”
“They sent a Ukrainian connection to help me. He is fluent in English; he booked me a bus to Poland.”
He described the situation in Lviv for people trying to flee Ukraine as “like a Christmas market” with “free food and coffee.”
He said he also witnessed riots at train stations with fathers waving goodbye to their wives and children.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/for-a-split-second-i-thought-he-was-going-to-assassinate-me-mayo-man-on-kyiv-streets-after-curfew-warning-41403150.html ‘In a split second I thought he was going to assassinate me’ – Mayo man on Kyiv street after curfew warning