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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ukraine: report about mass killings of the Maidan protesters revealed

Protesters in Maidan, 18-20 February 2014
(Image: AFP)
The heads of the security forces and police and the members of the special investigative teams have recently revealed their report regarding the mass killings of Ukrainian Maidan protesters happened on 18-20 February 2014, when the Euromaidan protests turned terribly violent, as the protesters attempted to march to the governmental district of Kyiv and were killed en masses by the security forces. More than hundred Ukrainian protesters were killed during those days and hundreds were wounded.

Special investigative team was formed and appointed by Ukrainian transitional government and Oleksandr Turchinov, the head of Ukrainian Parliament. The investigation results were really controversial, and the report of the heads of the security forces and the investigative team was recently revealed.

The investigation stated that the activities of the so called “titushki” (the gangs of the paid thugs) were organized and coordinated by the head of the Ukrainian media-holding “Contact” Victor Zubritsky, who had connections with Ukrainian former Minister of Interior Vitaly Zakharchenko, accused of orchestrating the killings of the protesters and being wanted at the moment. This statement was recently made by the current Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov.

“Mr. Zubritsky was actually in charge of all the activities and movements of titushki and their gangs, who attacked and terrorized the peaceful citizens and protesters and assisted the police and riot police (“Berkut”) who attempted to violently disperse the crowds that time,” Mr. Avakov said.

Massive Euromaidan protests in Kyiv
(Image: Wikipedia)
According to his information at least 17 people were killed on the Institutska Street, the epicenter of the bloody events, as a result of the fighting with the policemen and security forces. There was a special unit of the “Berkut” riot police working on this street and headed by the Major Dmytro Sadovnik, who faces trial currently. All the policemen are currently identificated, stated the Minister of Interior.

The first part of the investigation according to the report was an investigation of the killings of the protesters by the snipers, while the second part of the investigation deals with the cases of the protesters’ deaths caused by the direct shooting and attacks of the policemen and members of the “Berkut” units. Another part of an investigation is aimed at the investigation of the murder cases caused by the attacks of the citizens by the gangs of “titushki”, and the last part is the investigation of the causes of servicemen’s deaths as well.

Thus, the investigation report stated that the killings of the protesters and the servicemen as well were attempted by the Ukrainian riot policemen, members of the “Berkut” units and the armed thugs. Though an issue of the organization and planning of this massacre appears to be more interesting and shocking, as Ukrainian head of SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) Valentin Nalyvaychenko has stated that 26 members of the FSB of Russian Federation were participating in the planning of this special operation.

Riot police with the live ammunition
(Image: Censor Net)
According to Mr. Nalyvaychenko’s words, all Russian FSB officers arrived in Ukraine in the middle of January 2014, and there is also information about accommodation of these people. In addition to that these people lived on the territory of the special training centers of SBU, and the former head of SBU under the ousted President Victor Yanukovich had constant connection with the FSB specialists.

The head of SBU also stated that 108 fighters of the special SBU “Alpha” battalion have attempted to storm the Trade Union building on Khreschatyk Street during the violent events of 18-20 February, but the fire which has started in the building forced them to retreat.

On the next day snipers of the “Alpha” battalion were working on the roofs of the buildings located next to the Independence Square and in the neighborhood. They continued their activities also on 20th February, adding to their positions the new ones located next to the building of the Presidential Administration.

According to the statement of Mr. Nalyvaychenko, an investigative team continues to interrogate and to question the heads of the “Alpha” battalions and the fighters as well, while some of them decided to cooperate with the investigative team. Though the majority of the “Berkut” members involved in the killings of the Ukrainian protesters have reportedly escaped to Crimea and Donbas regions.

Ukrainian mourning the slain protesters in Maidan
(Image: Kyiv Post)
Though despite the reports and the ongoing investigation there are still many controversial questions and issues needed to be explained. It’s obvious that the current security services and SBU responsible for the investigation are trying to accuse the members of the former government and security forces of the Yanukovich’s time, but there were several reports about some shots made from other locations and probably by some other forces yet to be named and revealed.

The violent attacks against the Maidan protesters on 18-20 February 2014 became one of the most terrible sites of the newest Ukrainian history, shocking millions of people in Ukraine and worldwide and becoming a real turning point in the massive nationwide protests against the former President Victory Yanukovich and his corrupt government. Those bloody and violent days started the rapid countdown of the regime of Yanukovich, who escaped the country during the next several hours, leaving Ukrainians in euphoria after the fall of the regime and raising later numerous questions: who was responsible for the mass killings of the protesters and will their names be revealed?