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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hardline Rebels Killed Lithuanian Truck Driver

A Lithuanian truck driver was killed and two Finnish drivers were pulled from their cabs and beaten by parliamentary loyalists, embassies said Wednesday in rare accounts of violence against individuals who encountered the rebels during the Oct. 3-4 uprising.


Bronius Jurgelionis, 53, the Lithuanian driver, died as a result of gunshot wounds, a Lithuanian Embassy spokesman said, and his bullet-riddled truck was found near the White House.


At least four foreigners have died and dozens were injured during the clashes.


The Finnish drivers, said Juha Venalainen, a physician at the Finnish Embassy, were brutally beaten as their trucks were taken to form barricades.


On Oct. 3, Harri Makala, a driver for the transport firm Vakkala, and Jari Katon, an independent carrier, were pulled from their cabs, which were idling on the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment, near the Mezhdunarodnaya Hotel, said Venalainen and a spokesman for Vakkala. The Russian protesters attempted to drive the vehicles but were unable to manage the electronic machinery, Venalainen said.


"So they put a pistol in his mouth and said, 'You drive'", he said.


Makala, while proceeding, disconnected his trailer from the cab in an attempt to save the electronic consumer goods inside. When the attackers noticed, they pulled him from the cab, and then, according to Venalainen: "They beat him with pistols, kicked him, then put a rope around his waist and neck and dropped him into the Moscow River", before adding: "They then started to shoot all around him into the river".


They then pulled him out of the river, beat him again, and threw him back into the cab. At that point he was able to escape with the truck, but without the trailer, Venalainen said.


The other driver disconnected his trailer into the barricades as ordered, then was also able to escape, he said.


He treated the two on Oct. 5: Makala for sprained ankles and a bruised face and ribs, Katon for bruises and shock. The two are back in Finland.


"You see what criminals they are", Venalainen said. "They made their point with the pistols. There was no need to beat them".


One trailer is still missing, he said, and the other was found emptied of its contents and riddled with bullet holes. Oshe Vakkala, spokesman for the trucking firm, said he did not yet have an estimate of the commercial losses available.


The Lithuanian Embassy spokesman said Jurgelioni's body was not discovered until last Thursday, after his employer, the First Transportation Agency of Panevezhis, Lithuania, called asking about his whereabouts. His body was found in the morgue of the Skliforovsky Hospital.