“I thought I’d gone blind”

The brutal detention of Darya Domracheva’s brother was caught on camera

12 October 2020, 11:16 | Dmitry Smirnov, TUT.BY
Nikita on the day after his arrest.
Source: TUT.BY

Nikita Domrachev, the brother of [four-time Olympic biathlon champion] Darya Domracheva, was beaten and detained yesterday during the violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators. Today, he is already at home. Nikita told us the details of the incident and confirmed that his arrest had been caught on camera.

Here’s the video:

Security officers beating up a person on Zybitskaya Street on 11 October.
Source: TUT.BY

Yesterday, I was riding a bike along the embankment around Zybitskaya street. I was going to see my mother. When I reached the bridge, I saw some people in olive uniforms running at me, screaming. I got scared, turned in the other direction, but from there, around the corner of the building, another crowd of black-uniformed officers ran out.

They knocked me off the bike and, without explaining anything, started beating me. I felt as if my eyes were about to explode, blood was running down my head. I was worried about my bike – I’ve had it for 10 years, it’s very dear to me, so I tried to break free to save it.

The arrest of Nikita Domrachev in Minsk, 11 October.
Source: TUT.BY

But they threw me into a minivan. There, they threatened me, poked me with a baton. I couldn’t see anything through the blows and the blood on my face. At some point, I thought I’d gone blind and asked to call the ambulance. They told me they wouldn’t do it; a doctor would be at the police station. In addition, my wrists were handcuffed and my hands went numb, and the officers only laughed and insulted me at my requests to undo them a bit. They went through my personal belongings, my wallet, but there were no [protest] symbols there.

After a while, they threw me into another car and drove around the city for about an hour. They gave me a bandage to stop the bleeding, though.

I was brought to a police station with a group of other detainees. I had no shoes on; they had been lost during the arrest. There, they wrote down my ID data, took my photo. No one asked for a statement.

After some time, an ambulance arrived. At the same moment, they brought a ready-made protocol with all the testimonies of the officers, but didn’t let me read it because, as they said, it contained officers’ personal data.

The protocol stated I had participated in an unauthorized mass assembly. I felt very sick, had a bad headache, so I did not object and signed it. The hearing should be held in the Frunzensky District Court of Minsk; I don’t know the exact date.

The ambulance took me to the 3rd hospital, where they put me in a ward after several hours of queuing. In the morning, I signed a hospital admission refusal form and went home.

Did you tell the officials who you are? Who your sister is?


What about the bike?

I asked my wife to go look for it to where I’d been detained, but it was no longer there. I am worried about it. [The bike has already been found. – TUT.BY]

Have you spoken to Darya yet?

Not yet, but she knows what happened. She talked to our mother.

Later, Nikita shared some photos with us – here’s what he looks like the day after the arrest.

Source: TUT.BY