Dmitro Yarosh Donbass Lviv Maidan Neo-Fascism Petro Poroshenko Putin Regime Change Regime Transformation Revolution Right Sector Russia SBU Security Service of Ukraine Snipers Massacre Social-National Assembly Terrorism Transition Ukraine Ultra-Nationalism US-Russian Relations US-Ukrainian Relations Valentyn Nalyvaichenko

Violence, Coercion, and Escalation in Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution: Escalation Point 6 – The ‘Snipers’ of February

Ukrainian neofascists

by Gordon M. Hahn

This is the sixth part in my series “Violence, Coercion, and Escalation in Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution and covers the controversial and misunderstood ‘snipers’ massacre of 18-20 February 2014. Parts 1-5 can be accessed at:



On February 18-20 firearms began to be used in sporadic fashion on both sides. On February 20th there was a major escalation. In the center of a European capitol over one hundred police and demonstrators were shot to death and hundreds more were wounded. Despite the heavy casualties suffered by police, Western governments, the opposition-turned government on the next day, and Western and Maidan media were unanimous in reporting that the massacre was ordered by President Yanukovich and that the shooting was initiated and carried out exclusively or nearly so by snipers from the state’s police and security organs using professional sniper rifles. To this day, most in Kiev believe it was more likely Russian special forces that organized and perhaps even carried out the slaughter. The Maidan government’s chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, Kiev’s equivalent of the KGB or FSB, declared in March that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor, Vladislav Surkov, organized and commanded the snipers.

In reality, almost all those who killed and wounded hundreds on February 20th in Kiev were not trained ‘snipers’ at all. For the most part, they shot hunting rifles, Makarov pistols, and occasionally modified Kalashnikovs. Some videos show police firing rifles with scopes. However, they are not positioned on building roofs in order to carry out a clandestine sniping operation, but rather they are openly deployed on the streets during a retreat before a violent and advancing crowd, some of whom were deploying firearms as well. Mounting evidence shows that some were shooting of both police and civilians, and those ding so were not police or Berkut sent out by President Yanukovich, as the Ukrainian opposition and Western governments and media assume. Rather, they were members of primarily neo-fascist groups taking part in what had already become very violent demonstrations: Right Sector (RS), the Social-National Assembly (SNA), and Svoboda. The escalation from Molotov cocktails, chains, and massive bricks was not a distant leap.

Indeed, in less than two weeks after the massacre and Yanukovich’s ensuing removal from power there emerged an audiotape – likely a Russian or Ukrainian government intercept – of a telephone conversation between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and the EU’s Catherine Ashton in which the former states that his feeling and that in Kiev generally was growing that someone from the new Maidan regime was behind the shooting. Although when pressed by Paet that there needed to be an investigation Ashton agreed, neither party made any public effort to push the issue again, no less demand an investigation.[1] Nor did any other foreign government or international governmental organization do so, with the exception of Russia, which repeatedly demanded an investigation. The three days of killing peaked on the 20th and coincided with the signing of the ill-fated agreement signed by Yanukovich and three opposition party leaders and brokered by Russia and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland.

February 18th

February 18th, black Tuesday, saw 17 deaths in Kiev. Most were killed in fighting around the Supreme Rada and Trade Union buildings. The Maidan’s ‘Self Defense’ (MSD) ‘heavenly hundreds’ and the neo-fascist Right Sector (RS) attempted to storm the building of the parliament, the Supreme Rada, and set the Party of Regions headquarters in Kiev on fire blocking the exits, killing one worker and seven Berkut and MVD police. Another fire set by RS fighters intended to block the advance of spetsnaz killed at least two Maidan protestors in the Trade Union House, which was used by the Maidan Self-Defense (which organized and supervised the so-called ‘hundreds’ or sotniki’ units of Maidan self-defense forces) and RS as headquarters and from where much gunfire would target police in the coming days.[2] In response, the Yanukovich government authorized plans ‘Boomernag’ and ‘Khvylia’ for the the seizure of the Maidan and its headquarters. An Alfa officer, who led one of the SBU groups that stormed the Trade Union Building, stated that their main task was to seize the building’s 5th floor. The RS occupied the entire floor, which served as both Maidan’s headquarters and the base of RS and contained a cache of weapons. Katchanovski’s study cites two radio intercepts of Internal Troops units and Alfa commanders and snipers which confirm that the MSD and RS blocked their attempts to seize the Maidan headquarters and Trade Union building on February 18 by setting the building on fire and using live ammunition. Also, a radio intercept of Alfa commanders contains their report about deploying SBU snipers to counter two Maidan “snipers” or spotters located on a Maidan-controlled building.[3]

The majority of that February 18’s deaths were reported to be the result of gunfire wounds,[4] and several policemen were wounded by gunfire on that day, at least one seriously, according to a police account.[5] Commander of Ukrainian MVD’s National Guard ‘anti-terrosist’ unit Omega, Anatolly Strelchenko, claims that groups of Maidan protesters used live ammunition as early as February 18th during the so-called “peaceful march” shot several of his policeman in two incidents near 22/7 Institute Street with hunting rifles and Makarov pistols.[6] February 19th was a lull, but one police report that they spotted demonstrators wearing RSsymbols in the Music Conservatory that day.[7]

February 20th

On February 20th at least 49 Maidan demonstrators and 3 policemen would be killed by gunfire and tens of policemen wounded. But contrary to Western and Kiev’s claims, the gunfire was initiated by Maidan supporters in the early morning hours just after sunrise, and police initially showed restraint and sought to convince Maidan leaders to find and stop the shooters so they would not have to respond. Moreover, many of the casualties among the protesters appear to have been shot from areas controlled by the MDS, in particular neo-fascist RS, Social-National Assembly, and Svoboda elements. Before any civilians were hit by gunfire, three policeman were killed and another 13 wounded by 9:00am. Only a few police appear to have fired at the perpetrators on the 20th and did so in self-defence and retreat after the massacre had reached its peak. The February 20th shooting of civilians and police centered around on Institutskaya (Institute) Street in the Kiev city center and began with the shooting of Internal Affairs Ministry Internal Troops (VV) and ‘Berkut’ riot police in the early morning hours just after sunrise.[8]

A key detailed and comprehensive analysis of publicly available evidence conducted by Ottawa University professor and Ukrainian scholar Ivan Katchanovski suggests that almost all of the killings of both police and demonstrators were carried out by elements of the “Euromaidan” opposition. After the first version of Professor Katchanovski’s research was published, his house in Vinnitsa, Ukraine was seized by the RS- and NSA-led Azov Battalion’s fighters from the Vinnitsa on behalf of the Maidan regime.

The neo-fascist RS party and the Svoboda (Freedom) Party engaged in this violence as a prelude to overthrowing Yanukovich and seizing power after peaceful protests and limited violence failed to achieve these goals. Different sources contain evidence of pro-Maidan shooters or spotters in at least 12 buildings occupied by the Euromaidan opposition or located within the general territory held by them during the massacre on February 20. This includes the Hotel Ukraina, Zhovtnevyi Palace, Kinopalats, Bank “Arkada,” other buildings on both sides of Instytutska Street, and several buildings on the Maidan (Independence Square) itself, such as the Music Conservatory, the Trade Union headquarters, and the Main Post Office. The evidence also indicates that in addition to more than 60 Euromaidan protesters, 17 members of special police units were killed and 196 wounded from the Maidan-controlled buildings by similar types of ammunition and weapons on February 18-20, 2014.[9] Independent investigations by numerous organizations and a plethora of video and audio evidence support Katchanovski’s findings: Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a BBC documentary film, a documentary film by Beck-Hoffman, among several others. The following account is based on their findings and others. These include interviews with several Maidan shooters, who testify about their involvement in the killing of police.[10]

On February 20th the police had been informed that neo-fascist elements among the demonstrators had acquired firing arms. Nevertheless, for the first hour or so Internal Affairs Minstry Troops (VV) and Berkut riot police, using standard crowd control techniques including three new riot-control vehicles with water cannons just acquired from Russia, were able to force the crowd back to the Maidan and off of Institute Street. From Institutskaya the neo-fascists in the crowd had hoped to make it to Bankovaya (Bank) Street and storm the main government buildings of the president, government and Supreme Rada as they would succeed in doing the next day. But in the early morning of the 20th the police had gained their first foothold on Maidan in weeks and prepared to clear the square but then retreated suddenly coming under significant fire from armed protesters. All sources report that around 6:00am and as early as 5:30am gunfire coming from the demonstrators’ side, specifically the Conservatory Building and the Ukraine Hotel’s sixth floor, began to hit both demonstrators and police. The Ukraina Hotel, the Conservatory, and the Trade Union House were all under the Maidan’s control. Right Sector fighters were located in all three buildings and controlled specifically the sixth floor of the Trade Union House.[11] One of the shooters claimed he was firing at police for as long as 20 minutes and saw 10 other Maidan shooters doing the same.[12] The pro-Maidan Fatherland party’s Rada deputy and former journalist Andriy Shevchenko told the BBC and other investigators that a police chief in charge of officers on Institutskaya phoned him in desperation saying his men were under fire from the Conservatory, casualties were mounting, with 11 and within the hour as many as 21 wounded and three already dead, and would soon need to respond.[13] On the same day, pro-Maidan Rada deputy Inna Bogoslovskaya announced from the Rada’s rostrum that there is a video of someone dressed in a Berkut uniform – but not of the Berkut – shooting from a window in the Ukraina Hotel at both civilians and police in the early morning.[14]

Other reports also show that the first casualties occurred in the early morning and were policeman. BBC investigators found a Ukrainian photographer who photographed armed men in the Kiev Conservatory during the shooting. They also interviewed an ultra-nationalist, called Sergei, who claims he was part of an armed Maidan unit deployed in the Conservatory and was equipped with a high-velocity hunting rifle. The Conservatory directly overlooks that part of the Maidan where the water cannon-mounted vehicles had taken up positions. Sergei states that his unit fired on police in the early morning of February 20 at approximately 7:00am but that they did not shoot to kill, merely firing at their feet.[15] According to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Conservatory riflemen were under the command of 27-year-old Volodymyr Parasyuk, who was the leader of one of the Maidan self-defence groups or ‘Heavenly Hundred’ units,[16] all under the command of the Maidan government’s first Chairman of the Defense and Security Council, Andriy Parubiy. However, Parasyuk’s group did not coordinate its joining the Maidan self-defence corps with Parybiy but rather with the Right Sector. Parasyuk, a native of nationalistic Lviv in western Ukraine, stated he received paramilitary training with a range of nationalist groups there and was a member of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, one of the many Ukrainian organizations modeled on the World War II era Nazi-allied OUN, much as Right Sector and Svoboda are.[17]

Parasyuk admitted Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that many in his ‘Heavenly Hundred’ group of some 50 men were armed with hunting rifles and fired on the police but only in response to initial police fire.[18] Another source staying in the Ukraina Hotel overlooking the Maidan and Institutskaya told Business News Europe IntelliNews that a Maidan rifleman demanded entry to the hotel’s guest rooms and then fired from the window at about that time.[19] Katchanovski and Beck-Hoffman cite and include, respectively, video showing Right Sector and/or Svoboda riflemen firing from the Ukrainia Hotel at the same time.[20] As the police retreated from Maidan and back up Institutskaya in mid-morning, Parasyuk notes, his men fired on police and police snipers fired to provide cover for their retreating comrades.[21]

In an interview given a year after the events, commander of Ukrainian MVD’s National Guard ‘anti-terrosist’ unit Omega Anatolly Strelchenko confirmed that police and security possessed prior information and witnessed on February 20th both Maidan protesters and the police being killed and wounded by shots emanating from the Hotel Ukraina. Additionally, he confirmed that shooters and spotters were positioned in other nearby buildings under the Maidan’s control, including but not limited to the Music Conservatory, Zhovtnevyi Palace, Kinopalats, and Muzeiny Lane. At these and other places Strelchenko and Omega came under fire from Maidan protesters with both hunting rifles and Kalashnikovs.[22] Strelchenko also testifies that his men were fired on twice on February 21st – just after midnight and just before noon.[23] Hours later, they and all other police, MVD, and special forces pulled out of the city center in accordance with the February 20th agreement, leaving the government building unprotected to be stormed by the very same Right Sector and other Maidan activists who had been involved in the shootings.

Who Were the Shooters?

            Who initiated fire on the morning of the 20th also is clear. Numerous testimony, reports and analyses – Parasyuk, the BBC, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Katchanovski, Beck-Hoffman, and several others – all show that Maidan shooters opened fire on police as early as 5:30am, wounded at least 14 Berkut police and killed at least 3 before 9:00am and before police returned fire. They were fired on mainly from three buildings: the Conservatory, Ukraina Hotel, and Trade Union Hall.[24] Small groups of RS, SNA, and Svoboda members and fellow travelers from the MSD’s heavenly hundreds were the perpetrators. As noted above, the buildings from which the gunfire emanated – the Trade Union House, the Music Conservatory, and the Ukraina Hotel – were under the control of Right Sector and Svoboda groups, and Parasyuk mentions in his interview that he trained with ultra-nationalist groups in western Ukraine. One Maidan shooter was apparently a member of either the neo-fascist Right Sector or one of its founding neo-fascist parties, the Social-National Assembly (SNA), and later served in the notorious Azov Battalion fighting near Mariupol and led by the SNA’s chairman, Andrey Biletskiy. This shooter said he was recruited in January for this operation and that on February 19th at around 6:00pm he and some 20 others who came forward after someone from the Maidan protest’s podium requested people with shooting skills. They were offered a choice of weapons, including shotguns and Kalashnikov-based Saiga rifles and told to take up convenient positions. The same shooter claims he saw about 10 other protesters shooting at police from the Music Conservatory building in the morning of February 20. Other Maidan protesters who witnessed these events said that organized groups from western Ukraine’s Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, some with rifles, came to the Maidan and then moved to the conservatory hours after midnight on February 20.[25]

Berkut’s Shevchenko informed Euromaidan’s chief of self-defense, Parubii, at 8:18am about the first Berkut report of Maidan shooters firing the police. Euromaidan tweeted at 8:21am that a “sniper” was caught at the Music Conservatory, which is consistent with both BBC and Vesti interviews of the shooter, who said that he was “captured” by the Parubii’s personal security unit and driven out of Kiev.[26] This ‘capture’ appears to have been part of a coverup, since later, as Katchanovski reports, Parubii denied his forces ever captured a sniper.[27] FINISH FOOTNOTE At 8:21am Shevchenko reported to Parubii that casualties within his unit had grown to 21 wounded and three killed within a half an hour.[28]

The first casualty among the Maidan protesters came at 9:00am, which was several minutes before the Berkut arrived on the scene and during the Maidan protesters were firing at water cannons deployed to disperse the crown from Institutka.[29] Tens of other casualties among the protesters came from shots fired from buildings on Maidan controlled territory or under the direct control of MSD or ‘heavenly hundred’ units consisting of shooters from Right Sector, Svoboda, SNA, and the latter’s military unit, the Patriots of Ukraine throughout the day. Buildings under Maidan’s comtrol included: the Hotel Ukraina, the Zhovtnevyi Palace, the Kinopalats, Muzeinyi Lane, the Arkada Building, and Horodetskoho Street. The data supporting this include eyewitness accounts, videotapes, exit wound analyses, and markings on trees and building in the areas where civilians were shot. Eyewitnesses report seeing snipers shooting from buildings such as the Ukraina Hotel at both police/security forces and protesters.[30] One video shows journalists and Maidan supporters, including rank-and-file protesters as well as leaders on the stage, stating they see sniper “coordinator” or spotter on top of the Trade Union House during the massacre.[31]

A comparable number of casualties came from police, Berkut, and Omega units’ fire from the streets, but these came after the initial early morning massacre of police and Berkut and during the period when snipers were shooting at both sides. No evidence of police, Berkut or Omega firing from buildings has been produced. Thus, the day of mass casualties from gunfire was initiated in the early morning by the neo-fascist elements of the Maidan, and the same elements fired on both police and protesters later in the morning and the early afternoon. Police fired on Maidan shooters and some unarmed protesters, but in the latter case the shooting seemed to target the ground in front of demonstrators in order to drive them back as they advanced on retreating police up Institutka.[32] Despite RS, SNA and Svoboda fighters being identified in various sources as initiating and ultimately perpetrating much of the sniper massacre, at the time a group identifiying itself as the “Ukrainian Insurgent Army” or UPA – apparently named after the World War Two Nazi-allied Ukrainian organization responsible for mass murders of Jews and Poles –  claimed responsibility for the February 20th massacre.[33]

It also was the neo-fascist forces – Right Sector, SNA, and Svoboda – that led the overthrow of Yanukovich on the next day, contravening the EU-Russia sponsored peace agreement and transition pact signed on February 20th by the president and the leader of the three leading opposition parties: Vitaliy Klichko of the Udar Party, Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Fatherland, and the ultra-nationalist Oleh Tyahnibok. At a memorial meeting the next day for those killed the previous three days, as Klichko called on the protesters that fateful day to support the peace agreement from Maidan’s stage, the still unknown, later self-declared Maidan shooter, Parasyuk grabbed the microphone, denounced the agreement and the official opposition, and called on Yanukovich to resign by 10:00am the next day or be overthrown. The crowd roared with approval, and the revolutionary seizure of power was all but a fait accompli carried ou the next day.

Parasyuk also said his men were behind the turning point events on Instituka – a not so vailed reference to the gunfire his men unleashed on police. Perhaps not coincidentally, the agreement he rejected also included a clause requiring an investigation into the snipers massacre. Right Sector’s leader, Dmitro Yarosh backed up Parasyuk describing from the Maidan stage the weapons RS possessed and was putting at the disposal of the revolution.[34] Their forces and those of Svoboda, rather than pulling out of the city as required in the agreement, stormed the presidential administration, Supreme Rada, and other buildings on the next day as threatened, forcing Yanukovich to flee for his life and the parliament (without a quorum) to adopt hastily and unconstitutionally an ‘impeachment’ and other documents, consummating the Maidan revolution. Pro-Yanukovich deputies were beaten and threatened so they either voted ‘correctly’ or did not attend the Rada session of impeachment; a process that did not exist in Ukraine’s constitution.

Maidan Coverup?

There has been a concerted effort by pro-Maidan officials to coverup the leading role of pro-Maidan neo-fascist elements in the February sniper massacre. According to Katchanovski, numerous video and audio tapes used to charge the Berkut and Omega with all the casualties were edited to delete key pieces of information included in other sources cited by Katchanovski and other sources that showed the gunfire was coming from territory and buildings controlled by Maidan or its neo-fascist elements. Only the footage showing the Berkut and Omega firing on the streets is advertised by the Maidan regime, the West, and supportive media.[35] A year and three months after the sniper massacres, the Maidan regime has yet to offer a believable alternative account that would place the blame on the Yanukovich regime and the Berkut. It is ostensibly investigating the shootings of protesters and police but in two separate investigations. No charges have been brought against anyone for shooting police, Berkut or Omega personnel. When in autumn 2014 then Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitskii claimed that many of the protesters were shot with hunting rifles, as Katchanovski’s research suggests, he was soon fired from his post.

At the same time, cases were brought against three arrested Berkut police for shooting protesters, but the charges and any supporting evidence have not been laid out in any detail, and what has been publicized has been cast in grave doubt by the facts.[36] One of the Berkut policeman charged was missing a hand and could not have shot any weapn as prosecutors claim. International human rights organizations have accused the Maidan authorities of delaying, obstructing and covering up the events of February 20th in the case. For example, the Council of Europe’s International Advisory Group found that the Maidan government’s investigation has been hindered by numerous “failures,” “obstructiveness” (in particular on the part of the Internal Affairs Ministry), a lack of will, an insufficient number of investigators, and a lack of investigatory independence and transparency. The CE panel also cited efforts by prosecutors and the MVD to help Berkut officers avoid prosecution or at least interrogation.[37] Citing “political motives” on Kiev’s part, Interpol refused to accept Kiev’s request for warrants on 23 Berkut officers, whom Kiev alleges killed 39 protesters in the Maidan shootings.[38]

In February 2015, SBU chief Nalyvaichenko claimed that the SBU had evidence which it has never produced showing that Russian President Putin’s advisor Vladislav Surkov organized and commanded the snipers massacre from an SBU base. By April a Rada deputy from President Petro Poroshenko’s party (the Petro Poroshenko Bloc or PPB) revealed that Surkov arrived at 8:00pm on the evening of the 20th, when the shooting was over. At about the same time, Nalyvaichenko suddenly toned down his story. Testifying at a hearing of the Anti-Corruption Committee in mid-April, he was much more circumscribed in his claims about Surkov. He stated that Surkov was only in Kiev on February 20-21 and was reportedly seen in the company of then SBU chief Oleksandr Yakimenko and visited the presidential administration. Nalyvaichenko made no mention of Surkov coordinating the sniper attacks at the hearings.[39]

Only on 29 April 2015, fourteen months after the event, did prosecutors put out a public call for citizens to turn in any bullet sheels they might have taken from Maidan during or after the sniper massacre.[40] May the Maidan-majority Rada’s Anti-Corruption Committee, largely controlled by Poroshenko’s PPB assessed the investigation into the massacre of protesters as unsatisfactory, finding “sabotage and negligence,” and warned that if within two months progress is not made then it would seek the removal of the leaders of the General Prosecutors Office, MVD, and SBU.[41] Thus, there may be serious divisions over the investigation between the more moderate Poroshenko and his PPB, on the one hand, and the ultra-nationalists of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s National Front, the Yulia Timoshenko’s Fatherland Party, RS, and SNA, among others, on the other hand. It is likely that only a conflict between the two wings of the Maidan regime and won decisively by Poroshenko will lead to an objective investigation and prosecution of both the neo-fascist and Yanukovich regime perpetrators of the crimes committed by the ‘snipers’ of Maidan’s February revolution.

Thus, the figures and videos demonstrate anything but a peaceful Maidan protest. Total police casualties from gunfire for February 18-20 were at least 17 killed and 196 wounded, according to one source.[42] Another set of figures holds that 578 police were killed, wounded, and injured; 80 of these were victims of gunshot wounds during these three days. For the entire history of the Maidan protests, the Ukraine MVD’s official figures are 20 police killed and approximately 600 wounded in Kiev alone.[43] It should be added that during the neo-fascists’ sniper massacres of February 18-20, pro-Maidan forces were escalating the violence in the provinces far away from Kiev. On February 20th in Talne, Cherkask and the town of Korsun-Shenkovskiy, located on the road from Crimea to Kiev, a bus load of alleged ‘titushki’ (pro-Yanukovich provocateuers and thugs) were beaten. In one case, some bus riders reportedly were shot by a mob including RS activists.[44]

Summing up the Escalatoray Pattern During the Revolution’s Destructive Phase

Summing up the destructive phase (the weakening and overthrowing the Yanukovich regime) of the Maidan revolution from October 2013 through 21 February 2014, it turns out that of the six turning points of escalatory violence and coercion, five were initiated by the Maidan protesters. Even if one separates the February 18-20 sniper massacres from the violent seizure of power the next day, the pattern holds with six of seven moments of escalatory violence and coercion initiated by the Maidan protesters. Only the 30 November 2013 Berkut night time assault on the Maidan demonstrators is the only exception from the pattern of escalating revolutionary violence led by the Maidan’s relatively small but highly motivated and well-organized neo-fascist elements.

As in all regime transformations, the modalities of the transformation in Ukraine’s Maidan revolution – the key actors, their ideologies, and preferred tactics – would tell on the course of the constructive phase of the new Maidan regime. Rarely do violent revolutions from below lead to democracy. This is even truer when the violent revolution includes a strong ethnonational component.



[1] “Breaking: Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone,” You Tube, 5 March 2014,

[2] Margarita Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane,” Vesti Ukraine, 20 November 2014,

[3] Ivan Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),”, 20 February 2015,, p. 55. See also Johnson’s Russia List, #33, 21 February 2015, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, 02820649387/archive/1102911694293.html. For the original, unrevised version see Ivan Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,”, Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014,

[4] Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane”.

[5] Vyacheslav Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali,”, 20 February 2015,

[6] Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali”.

[7] “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann, You Tube, 14 February 2015,

[8] Katchanovski, ““The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version)” and “Maidan Massacre”, Documentary by Beck-Hoffman.

[9] Katchanovski’s initial and revised reports are based on evidence that includes publicly available but largely unreported and misrepresented videos and photos of suspected shooters, statements by the Maidan announcers and leaders, radio intercepts of shooters, “snipers” and commanders of the SBU’s special Alfa unit, analysis of ballistic trajectories, eyewitness reports by both Maidan protesters and government special unit commanders, public statements by the government officials, similar ammunition and weapons used against the police and the protesters, and similar types of wounds among both protesters and the police. Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version).”

[10] Konrad Schuller, “Wie kam es zum Blutbad auf dem Majdan?,” 8 February 2015, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,; Gabriel Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre,” BBC News Magazine, 12 February 2015,; “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann; and Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali.” For a brief summary of the evidence in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and BBC investigations, see Graham Stack, “KYIV BLOG: What triggered the Maidan massacre?,” Business News Europe, 13 February 2015,

[11] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” pp. 14-15; Schuller, “Wie kam es zum Blutbad auf dem Majdan?”; Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre”; “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann; Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali”; and Sonya Koshkina, “Vozrozhdenie Rady,”, 22 February 2014,

[12] Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane,” cited in Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 15.

[13] Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane”; Koshkina, “Vozrozhdenie Rady”; Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 15; Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre”; “Maidan Massacre” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann; and Koshkina, “Vozrozhdenie Rady”.

[14] “Bogoslovskaya: est’ video, gde muzhchina v forme ‘Berkut’ strelyaet po Maidanu i silovikam,”, 21 February 2014,

[15] Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre”.

[16] Schuller, “Wie kam es zum Blutbad auf dem Majdan?”.

[17] Oksana Kovalenko, “Sotnik, yakii perelomiv khid istorii: Treba bulo dotiskati,” Ukrainskaya Pravda, 24 February 2014,

[18] Schuller, “Wie kam es zum Blutbad auf dem Majdan?”.

[19] Stack, “KYIV BLOG: What triggered the Maidan massacre?”

[20] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 32 and “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann.

[21] Schuller, “Wie kam es zum Blutbad auf dem Majdan?”.

[22] Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali”.

[23] Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali”.

[24] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version)”; “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann; and Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali”. It should be emphasized that in coming to conclusions in his study Katchanovski crosschecks data from numerous sources and reports including those from the BBC and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

[25] “Dvadtsyat’ svidchen’ pro perelamnii den’ protistoyan’ na Maidani (English subtitles),” UkrLife, 27 May 2014,

[26] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version)”; Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane”; and Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre”.

[27] You Tube, , and!h9pWBI5A!24DmrbJQhFAQB7DVZG_Rhh40BCcUvtgm-5Z_9TMntCo.

[28] “Zvit TCK shodo podii 18-20 lyutogo v Kievi,” Offitsialnyi sait Gennaddiy Moskal’, 7 May 2014,

[29] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 21.

[30] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 32, Map 1, and pp. 33-52.

[31] “Maidan – February 20, 2014 (3),” You Tube, 20 February 2014,, last accessed 7 May 2015.

[32] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 32, Map 1, and pp. 33-52. See also the numerous sources cited by Katchanovski, in particular the BBC documentary – Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre” – and the UkrLife documentary – “Dvadtsyat’ svidchen’ pro perelamnii den’ protistoyan’ na Maidani (English subtitles)”.

[33] A group calling itself UPA also claimed responsibility for the murder of five Opposition Bloc and former Party of regions deputies and a journalist in 2015. Danil Yevtukhov, “Ubiitsy Buziny iz ‘UPA’ vpervyie zasvetilis’ vo vremya Yevromaidana,” Podrobnosti, 17 April 2015, On the claim for the 2015 murders, see “’Oppozitsionyi Blok’ zayavil ob ugrozakh ot ‘Ukrainskoi povstancheskoi armii,” Korrespondent, 17 April 2015,

[34] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 21.

[35] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” pp. 29, 47-48.

[36] Steve Stecklow and Oleksandr Akymenko, “Special Report: Flaws found in Ukraine’s probe of Maidan massacre,” Reuters, 10 October 2014,

[37] “Report of the International Advisory Panel on its review of the Maidan Investigations,” Council of Europe International Advisory Council, 31 March 2015, and Allison Quinn “International report finds numerous failures in Maidan murders investigation,” Kyiv Post, 31 March 2015,

[38] “Interpol vidmovivsya rozshukuvati bepkutivtsiv – GPU,” Ukrinform, 15 April 2015,

[39] Serhiy Leschenko, “Nalyvaichenko proti Surkova – stsenariy dlya Medvedchuka,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 16 April 2015,

[40] “GPU sobiraet u naseleniya gilzy i shlemy s Maidana,” Vesti Ukraine, 29 April 2015,

[41] Ivakhchenko and Sharii, “V Protsesse raskritiya”.

[42] “Zvit TCK shodo podii 18-20 lyutogo v Kievi,” Offitsialnyi sait Gennaddiy Moskal’, 7 May 2014,

[43] Vladimir Ivakhchenko and Andrei Sharii, “V Protsesse raskritiya,” Radio Svoboda, 8 May 2015,

[44] For Korsun-Shenkovskiy, see For Talne, Cherkasy, see;; and For the RS activist, see the PS patch on one of the members of the mob seizing the bus near the end of the video at You Tube,


Gordon M. Hahn is an Analyst and Advisory Board Member of the Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, Chicago, Illinois; Senior Researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California Analyst/Consultant, Russia Other Points of View – Russia Media Watch; and Senior Researcher and Adjunct Professor, MonTREP, Monterey, California. Dr Hahn is author of three well-received books, Russia’s Revolution From Above (Transaction, 2002), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), which was named an outstanding title of 2007 by Choice magazine, and The ‘Caucasus Emirate’ Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014). He also has authored hundreds of articles in scholarly journals and other publications on Russian, Eurasian and international politics and wrote, edited and published the Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report at CSIS from 2010-2013. Dr. Hahn has been a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (2011-2013) and a Visiting Scholar at both the Hoover Institution and the Kennan Institute.

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