REPORT: The Real Ukrainian “Snipers’ Massacre”, 20 February 2014

photo snipers massacre

by Gordon M. Hahn

The February Snipers’ Massacre:

Introduction

On February 18-20th 2014 there was a major escalation of the violence on Kiev’s Maidan, ending in a massacre on the 20th and ultimately in the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanuykovych. In the center of a European capitol over one hundred police and demonstrators had been shot to death and hundreds more wounded. Despite the heavy casualties suffered by police, Western governments, the opposition-turned government and Western and Maidan media were the very next day unanimous in reporting that the massacre had been ordered by President Yanukovych and that the shooting was initiated and carried out exclusively or nearly so by snipers from the Ukrainian state’s police and security organs using professional sniper rifles. To this day, many in Kiev believe it was more likely that Russian special forces organized and perhaps even carried out the slaughter. As discussed further below, the Maidan government’s chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, Kiev’s equivalent of the KGB or FSB, falsely declared in March 2015 that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor, Vladislav Surkov, organized and commanded the snipers. The three days of killing peaked on the 20th and ultimately scuttled an agreement to end the crisis signed on February 21st by Yanukovich and three opposition party leaders and brokered by Russia and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland.

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 the sense 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 faint-heratedly agreed, neither party made any effort to push the issue again, no less demand an investigation.[1] The legitimacy of the new coalition government and subsequent new Maidan regime depended on the myth surrounding the snipers’ massacre that Yanukovich’s alleged deployment of snipers sparked his overthrow and prompted Western governments to ignore the opposition’s violation of an agreement between the regime and opposition that provided a way out of the crisis. The martyrs of the Maidan revolution know as the ‘heavenly hundred’, who were allegedly killed by Yanukovych’s forces, became the heroes and symbol of the revolution. Thus, from the Paet-Ashton phone call forward, not only did Paet and Ashton stop discussing the shooting, but not a single Western official discussed this issue so pivotal for the fate of Europe, no less called for an investigation. Quite disturbingly, Ashton and Paet remained silent until the audiotape was leaked. Nor would any foreign government, with the exception of Russia, or any international governmental organization demand an investigation or threaten repercussions for Kiev’s failure to do so.

Mounting evidence now shows that not police, as the Ukrainian opposition and Western governments and media assume, but rather RS and SP fighters were shooting both police and pro-Maidan demonstrators on those fateful days. Contrary to Western and Kiev’s claims, the gunfire was initiated by Maidan supporters in the early morning hours, and police initially showed restraint and sought to convince Maidan leaders to find and stop the shooters so they would not have to respond. The escalation from Molotov cocktails, chains, and massive bricks was not a distant leap.

Detailed and comprehensive analysis of publicly available evidence conducted by Ottawa University professor and Ukrainian scholar Ivan Katchanovski demonstrates that the armed fighting on both February 18th and 20th was initated by the neofascist-dominated Euromaidan ‘self-defense’ units and that the RS and SP fighters shot, killed, and wounded both police and EuroMaidan demonstrators. 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 on behalf of the Maidan regime.[2] 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.[3]

Those killed and wounded on 18-20 February 2014 in Kiev were not shot by trained police ‘snipers’. For the most part, both police and demonstrators were shot by hunting rifles, Makarov pistols, and occasionally modified Kalashnikovs. To be sure, some videos show police aiming but rarely firing rifles with scopes. However, they were doing so long after the RS and SP fighters began the shooting and are not positioned on building roofs in order to carry out a clandestine sniping operation. The police are openly deployed on the streets during a retreat before a violent and advancing crowd, some of whom were deploying firearms as well.

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) ‘self-defense’ units or ‘hundreds’ (sotniki) led by the neo-fascist RS attempted to storm the building of the Verkhovna Rada (for the seond time – the first on January 21st) and set the Party of Regions headquarters in Kiev on fire blocking the exits, killing one worker and seven Berkut and MVD police. In response, the Yanukovich government authorized plans ‘Boomerang’ 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 headquarters for both the EuroMaidan, the Maidan Self-Defense (MSD), which organized and supervised the EuroMaidan’s ‘sotniki’, and RS and housed a cache of weapons. The fire set by RS fighters in the Trade Union House was allegedly intended to block the advance of ‘spetsnaz’ troops and killed at least two Maidan protestors. The Trade Union House, the Music Conservatory and especially the Hotel Ukraine would wherefrom much of the gunfire targeting police and demonstrators would come in the next days.[4]

Katchanovski’s groundbreaking research on the February 1820th violence uncovered two radio intercepts of Internal Troops units and Alfa commanders and snipers, confirming 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.[5] The majority of February 18’s deaths were reported to be the result of gunfire wounds,[6] and several policemen were wounded by gunfire on that day, at least one seriously, according to a police account.[7]  This confirms Omega commander Strelchenko’s testimony, which claims that groups of Maidan protesters used live ammunition as early as February 18th during the so-called “peaceful march” and shot several of his policeman in two incidents near 22/7 Institute Street across the street from the Kiev Music Conservatory with hunting rifles and Makarov pistols.[8]

Protester Ivan Uduzhov claims someone gave him a Kalashnikov, and he shot at police from behind protesters during the police attack just prior to police retreat. Uduzhov’s description coincides with events on February 18th and 20th and specific 5.45mm AK-74 and 7.62mm caliber AKM weapons.[9] An Italian journalist’s photograph shows a protester using the cover of demonstrators’ shields to fire a Kalashnikov AK-74 assault rifle at advancing police during the evening of February 18.[10] On February 19th there was a relative lull, but one police report states that police spotted demonstrators wearing RS symbols in the Music Conservatory that day.[11]

Shortly after midnight on February 20th RS leader Dmitro Yarosh announced on his Facebook page that RS would reject any agreement with the Yanukovych regime and that “the offensive of the people in revolt will continue.”[12] On that day at least 49 Maidan demonstrators and 3 policemen would be killed by gunfire, and more than a hundred more demonstrator and police would be wounded. Not only was the shooting on the 20th initiated by RS and PS fighters of the MDS, but many of the casualties among the protesters appear to have been shot from areas controlled by the EuroMaidan and MDS, in particular neo-fascist RS and SP elements. By 9:00am, before any civilians were hit by gunfire, three policeman were killed and another 13 wounded. 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 on Institutskaya (Institute) Street in the Kiev city center, in particular from the Music Conservatory and Hotel Ukraine, and began with the shooting of Internal Troops (VV) of the Internal Affairs Ministry (MVD) and ‘Berkut’ riot police in the early morning hours.[13]

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 Ukraine, 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 Hose, 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.[14]

On February 20th the police had been informed that neo-fascist elements among the demonstrators had acquired firearms. Nevertheless, for the first hour or so the VV troops and Berkut used standard crowd control techniques, including three new riot-control vehicles with water cannons just acquired from Russia, to force the crowd back to the Maidan and off of Institutka Street. From Institutska 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. Prepared to clear the square, the VV and Berkut suddenly were forced to retreat when they came 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 Ukraine 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.[15] One of the EuroMaidan shooters claimed he was firing at police for as long as 20 minutes and saw 10 other Maidan shooters doing the same.[16] 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 Institutska– phoned him in desperation saying that his men were under fire from the Conservatory, casualties were mounting, with 11 initially and within the hour as many as 21 wounded and three already dead, and that soon he would need to return fire if the shooting did not cease.[17] This commander was Ukrainian MVD’s National Guard ‘anti-terrorist’ unit Omega commander Anatoliy Strelchenko, who reported to MSD commander Parubiy at 8:21am that casualties within his unit had grown to 21 wounded and three killed within a half an hour.[18] 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 Ukraine Hotel at both civilians and police in the early morning.[19] Other reports, such as the BBC report, also show that the first casualties occurred in the early morning and were policeman.[20]

The first casualty among the Maidan protesters came at 9:00am, which was several minutes before the Berkut arrived on the scene, while the Maidan protesters were firing at water cannons deployed to disperse the crown from Institutka nonviolently.[21] Tens of other casualties among the protesters came from shots fired from territory and buildings under the direct control of EuroMaidan’s 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

Who Were the Shooters?

By mid-day on the 20th both sides were firing, but the government forces seemed to demonstrated some restraint. Thus, there be admissions by the official post-revolutionary investigation that Maida protesters were killed by firearms not used by the Berkut, MVD Internal Troops or regular police. The head of the post-Maidan Rada’s special parliamentary commission, Gennadii Moskal, reported that of the 76 protesters killed on February 18-20, at least 25 were shot with 7.62mm caliber bullets and at least 17 with pellets, while another was shot with a 9mm bullet from a Makarov pistol.[25] Precisely who initiated fire on the morning of the 20th also is clear, and it was not the government forces. Small groups of RS and SP members and fellow travelers from the MSD’s heavenly hundreds were the first snipers of February 20th.

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. Numerous testimony, reports and analyses 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.[26] 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.[27] This could have been a RS and/or SP subunit.

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 police’s 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.[28] 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 MSD sotniki units.[29]

Although Andriy Parubiy was commander MSD hundreds, Parasyuk claims his group did not coordinate its joining the MSD with Parubiy but rather with the Right Sector, speaking with representatives of opposition UDAR party leader Klichko.[30] However, as Katchanovski correctly notes, it is highly unlikely that such a large unit of armed men could have been moving around on the Maidan without permission from someone in the EuroMaidan leadership – perhaps Klichko.[31] Parasyuk, a native of nationalistic Lviv in western Ukraine, states that over the years 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 like RS and SP on the World War II era Nazi-allied OUN.[32] Parasyuk admitted in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung interview that many in his soten or hundred of some 50 men were armed with hunting rifles and fired on the police from the Music Conservatory, but supposedly only in response to initial police fire.[33] After playing this key role in the Maidan revolt, Parasyuk would serve as a company commander in the Donbass battalion organized with the direct involvement of the Right Sector. In 2015 he would be elected to the Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, where he would be involved in several physical attacks on his fellow parliamentarians. One of Parasyuk’s Maidan shooters also joined this battalion,[34] the commander of which, Semyon Semenchenko, was by February 2016 under investigation for illegally holding people, using falsified documents, and other unidentified crimes.[35]

Parasyuk’s role in initiating the shooting on February 20th is corroborated by other sources, including RS EuroMaidan members. The aforementioned RS commander Igor Mazur, once a leader of the OUN successor organization, the Ukrainian Nationalist Army (UNA-UNSO), which was one of RS’s three founding groups of RS, stated that he saw some 50 armed protesters in Maidan’s underground area and shooting at police on the Maidan on that morning.[36] Another source staying in the Ukraine Hotel overlooking the Maidan and Institutska 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.[37] Katchanovski and Beck-Hoffman cite and include, respectively, video showing RS and/or SP riflemen firing from the Hotel Ukraina at the same time.[38]

In an interview given a year after the events, commander of Ukrainian MVD’s National Guard ‘anti-terrorist’ unit ‘Omega’ Anatoliy Strelchenko confirmed that police and security possessed prior information that some MSD hundreds were armed. He caims to have witnessed both Maidan protesters and the police being killed and wounded by shots emanating from the Hotel Ukraina on February 20th. Additionally, he stated that shooters and spotters were positioned in other nearby buildings under the Maidan’s control, including but not limited to the Music Conservatory, the Trade Union House, Zhovtnevyi Palace, Kinopalats, and Muzeiny Lane. At these and other places Strelchenko and Omega troops came under fire from Maidan protesters with both hunting rifles and Kalashnikovs.[39] Strelchenko also testifies that his men were fired on twice on February 21st – just after midnight and just before noon.[40] 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 buildings unprotected to be stormed by the very same RS, SP and other Maidan activists who had been involved in the shootings.

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 SNA chairman 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 20th.[41] Using medical emergency service reports, a Rada special commission confirmed the time line, concluding that shooting from Maidan and neighboring streets targeting Berkut and Internal Troops on February 20th started at 6:10am.[42] The BBC investigation includes photos showing Maidan shooters with hunting rifles and a Kalashnikov rifle inside the Music Conservatory shortly after 8:00am.[43] Two separate ‘112 Ukraina’ television broadcasts reported that between 8:00am and 9:00am several policeman were shot by Maidan shooters from the Music Conservatory. At the same time, a video shows a Maidan stage speaker warning demonstrators of shooting coming from behind the stage, demonstrators pointing to a shooter on a hotel rooftop, and sounds of gunfire.[44] Numerous other reports cited by Katchanovskii, including an interview with a Swedish neo-Nazi pro-Maidan protester, report Maidan shooters firing on, killing, and wounding police before 9am.[45]

Euromaidan tweeted at 8:21am—minutes after Omega commander Strelchenko informed Euromaidan self-defense chief Parubiy about the first Berkut report of Maidan shooters firing at police—that a “sniper” was caught at the Music Conservatory, which is consistent with both BBC and Vesti interviews of the same shooter, who said that he was “captured” by the Parubiy’s personal security unit and driven out of Kiev.[46] This ‘capture’ may have been an early attempt to cover up the hundreds’ falso flag ‘sniper’s’ massacre, since later, as Katchanovski reports, Parubiy denied his forces ever captured a sniper.[47] It is likely that the ultra-nationalist Parubiy was behind the false flag operation and nationalist revolutionary seizure of power. He would be rewarded under the new Maidan regime with the post of Chairman of the Defense and Security Council of Ukraine.

Video evidence compiled by Professor Katchanovski leaves no doubt that Parasyuk and at least one of his groups of RS and SP snipers were firing from the 14th floor of the Hotel Ukraina. One video shows, beginning at 2 minute and 37 seconds into the video, the arrival of a Parasyuk-led group with Parasyuk and Koshulynsky, who is carrying a Glock handgun. At the 2:47 mark, as the armed demonstrators are still entering, journalists attempt to photograph or film them at which point they are confronted by people who appear to be in charge with screams, “Don’t photograph (them), don’t photograph (them)!”[48] Koshulynsky would chair the Verkhovna Rada emergency session in the late afternoon and evening of that same day during which the parliament condemned the Yanukovych government for the massacre and issued a resolution ordering government forces to withdraw from downtown Kiev. A video from Germany’s ZDF television Parasyuk can be seen removing armed comrades from a 14th floor room of the Hotel Ukraina at 10:22am commanded the shooters to stop firing and move because “the press should not be drawn into it.” The SP figure and then Verkhovna Rada deputy speaker Ruslan Koshulynsky is also seen in this video with the same group of armed shooters. The video was removed in early March 2015 from the German ZDF website but is available on Professor Katchanovski’s Facebook page.[49] Another video shows the men inside the Hotel Ukraine room shooting out the window.[50] A Ruptly video shows another group of Maidan protesters with at least one gun and an axe breaking into the same 14th floor hotel room, which had been occupied by journalists. Just prior to this a Ruptly reporter showed at 10:12am that he was shot in his bullet-proof vest about half an hour before, and the ZDF correspondent says in the video: “They captured our room on the 14th floor of the hotel. They fired out of our window.”[51] All of this, as Katchanovski points out, has been covered up or denied by the Ukrainian government investigation, avoided in both Maidan Ukrainian and Western media reporting, and ignored by Western governments.

Around the time of the second anniversary of the February massacre, yet another pro-Maidan sniper, Ivan Bubenchik, emerged to acknowledge that he shot and killed Berkut before any protesters were shot that day. In a print interview Bubenchik previews his admission in Vladimir Tikhii’s documentary film ‘Brantsy’ that he shot and killed two Berkut commanders in the early morning hours of February 20th on the Maidan. Bubenchik hails from Lviv, having learned how to shoot in the Soviet army and undergone training at a military intelligence academy for operations planned for Afghanistan and “other hot points.” Claiming that he was on the Maidan from the “first day,” he soon joined the MSD’s “Ninth” soten tasked with guarding the subway exits onto the Maidan, so the SBU could not use them to infiltrate the square.  At some point, the MVD blocked their acces to the government quarters on Hrushevskii Strret. The Ninth soten delivered a written ultimatum that if by the next day Ninth’s fighters were not allowed to move freely between the Maidan and the Metro, they would attack the Internal Troops, which they did with Molotov cocktails and stones.[52]

On February 20th, Bubenchik claims that the Yanukovich regime started the fire in the Trade Union House—where his and many other EuroMaidan fighters lived during the revolt—prompting the Maidan’s next reaction. As noted above, however, pro-Maidan neo-fascists have revealed that Right Sector started that fires there. Relocating to the infamous Conservatory where, Bubenchik confirms other testimony that there were pro-Maidan fighters “with hunting rifles”… shooting at the units of special troops seventy meters away.” He moved them away from windows through which they were firing at the secial forces when the latter allegedly began throwing Molotov cocktails at the building in order to burn down their “last refuge.” Claiming he had been praying for 40, then 20 Kalashnikovs to appear, on the morning of the February 20th an unidentified person brought to them a Kalashnikov and 75 bullets in a tennis racket bag. He emphasizes that those who claim the weapons had been captured from the pro-Yanukovich titushki on February 18th are wrong. Bubenchik fired at police from a window situated behind columns farthest from the Maidan, targeting likely commanders betrayed by their “gesticulations.” He expresses his pride in shooting the two commanders in the back of the skull and killing them and then shooting an unspecified number of other Berkut servicemen in the legs with the intent merely to wound. Bubenchik then moved out of the Conservatory onto the street and continued to fire on police from behind the shields of other protesters, who were moved “to tears of joy.” After the police began to return fire, Bubenchik ran out of ammunition and was told by “people with status” that more was on the way. He does not clarify whether it arrived, but concludes by noting that two of his comrades in the Ninth hundred were killed: Igor Serdyuk and Bogdan Vaida.[53]

Numerous videos, including those used by the BBC and other documentaries cited herein, demonstrate that by January the Maidan protests were far from peaceful. Total police casualties from gunfire for February 18-20 were at least 17 killed and 196 wounded, according to one source.[54] Another set of figures holds that there were 578 police casualties, including killed, wounded, and injured; 80 of these were victims of gunshot wounds during these three February days. Later, almost all accounts settled on the figures of 85 protesters and 18 law enforcement officials, with hundreds wounded on both sides.[55] 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.[56] Some 100 civilians were killed during the protests and violence. As the Maidan revolt radicalized, it increasingly came to represent western Ukrainians. It is not accidental that the residents of the ten westernmost of Ukraine’s 26 regions comprise over half of the ‘Heavenly Hundred’ martyrs—those 100 people killed on Maidan during the revolutionary wave of 29 November 2013 – 21 February 2014 (85 of them during February 18-20—and nearly two thirds of those who were citizens of Ukraine. Twenty percent (19 of the 99 victims with known residences and/or places of birth) were from the nationalist hotbed of Lviv Oblast’, the heart of Galicia.[57]

Maidan Coverup?

In power, the EuroMaidan regime has stalled in investigating the February snipers’ massacre and appeared to be engaged in an effort to cover up the leading role of pro-Maidan neo-fascist elements in shooting demonstrators. 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 himslef and others showing that gunfire was coming from territory and buildings controlled by the EuroMaidan and 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.[58] Two years after the snipers’ massacre, the Maidan regime had yet to develop a believable account of the massacre that could convincingly place the blame solely or even for the most part 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 Makhnitskiy claimed that many of the protesters were shot with hunting rifles, as Katchanovski’s research suggests, he was soon fired from his post. Later, in February 2016, leader of the command staff of the MDS, then SBU deputy head in the new Maidan government, and now Rada deputy from the nationalist People’s Front, Andrey Levus tried to lay the blame for a crucial three-month ‘delay’ in the investigation on precisely Makhnitskiy, claiming the SBU had handed over to him a “mass of evidence.”[59]

In autumn 2015 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 contradicted the GPO’s indictment or been cast in grave doubt by grave discrepancies with other available facts such as those presented in this chapter. The prosecution’s investigation only placed the accused in the general area of the shootings and could not specify particular victims, link bullets and firearms, or identify precise time and place of shootings.[60] A Reuters investigation even found major “flaws” in the probe. For example, one of the accused Berkut policeman is missing a hand and could not have fired the weapon as prosecutors claim.[61]

Moreover, the trial’s revelations, Maidan regime General Prosecutor Office (GPO) court appeals, and resulting court decisions began to undermine the Maidan myth and support Katchanovski’s version of events. The Maidan massacre trial revealed results of forensic ballistic reports which indicate that the majority of the 39 protesters were killed from the same single 7.62mm AKM, its hunting versions, or other firearms of the same caliber. Forensic medical reports concerning locations and directions of entry wounds, videos showing the moments of killings of most of these protesters, and testimonies of Maidan eyewitnesses show that these protesters were killed from this firearm from the Maidan-controlled Hotel Ukraina and not from the Berkut positions on the ground. According to Katchanovskii’s most recent research based on the trial revelations, the forensic medical reports made public during the trial confirmed that the majority of the protesters were killed from very or relatively steep angles from nearby buildings and Maidan-controlled locations. At least 12 protesters out of 21, whose cases were examined during the trial, had wounds at significant angles, three protesters were shot from nearly horizontal positions, while specific directions of the wounds have not been revealed in the cases of six protesters. The Berkut policemen were positioned at nearly horizontal levels with the killed protesters. Trial evidence also revealed that even those killed protesters whose bullet trajectory was at nearly horizontal angles were shot from other such 7.62 caliber firearms and hunting weapons from Maidan-controlled locations, such as the Bank Arkada and Muzeinyi Lane buildings. Moreover still, according to Katchanovski, the investigation is denying its own findings submitted in a report to the Council of Europe. This report stated that the GPO investigation determined that at least three protesters were killed from the Hotel Ukraine and at least 10 others were killed from rooftops.[62] Nevertheless, on 26 January 2016, the GPO re-charged the Berkut commander and two Berkut members with killing not 39 but 48 out of 49 protesters as well as terrorism. The sole exception is apparently a Georgian protester exact circumstances and location of whose death could still not be confirmed.[63]

Despite claims by some Maidan Ukraine officials that the Russians were behind and/or carried out the February 2014 shootings, Maidan Ukraine’s legal system has begun to investigate RS fighters’ involvement in the killing at least some of the Berkut police and MBD Internal Troops by January 2016 and at least demonstrator. This was was reflected in several Kiev court decisions, which also suggested that the GPO was beginning to investigate RS as possible suspects in the killings. Rulings by Kiev’s Pechersk district court in November and December 2015 appeared in Ukraine’s online database of court decisions and were publicized on Facebook and elsewhere by Professor Katchanovski and the present author, but they were reported by the Ukrainian or Western governments and media. The decisions state that the investigation had determined that two wounded attackers of a separatist checkpoint near Sloviansk in Donbas at 2:00am on April 20, 2014 used the same weapons used to kill two MVD troopers and wound three policemen on Maidan on 18 February 2014.[64] Two members of the RS’s ‘Viking’ unit were being investigated by the GPO by the end of summer 2015 for the February 2014 killings of the police on the Maidan, following a public admission by one of this neo-Nazis.[65] Moreover, Kiev’s Pecherskiy District Court decision shows that the GPO was then investigating at least one other member of the ultra-nationalist UNA-UNSO, one of the founding groups of the Right Sector, for murdering a protester by cutting his throat on February 18, 2014.[66] In February 2016 the Pecherskiy court had added 12 other RS members to the investigation of the Maidan shootings tied through weapons used near Sloviansk on 20 April 2014.[67]

The Ukrainian authorities have tried to tie the Maidan snipers’ massacre to Putin. 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 already over. Nalyvaichenko then toned down his story. Testifying at a hearing of the Anti-Corruption Committee in mid-April 2015, 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 snipers’ attacks at the hearings and he was soon fired.[68]

Only on 29 April 2015, a year and two months after the event, did prosecutors put out a public call for citizens to turn in any bullet shells they might have taken from Maidan during or after the snipers’ massacre.[69] In 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.[70]

The GPO has gradually and only slightly moved in the direction of Katchanovski’s version of Maidan massacre as an RS/SP-led false flag operation under the cover of the EuroMaidan ‘self-defense’ forces. Maidan Ukraine’s first two GPs were Svoboda and Fatherland members, respectively, and they never mentioned that shots were fired from areas controlled by EuroMaidan such as the Hotel Ukraine. Its third GP appointed a new chief of the investigation, who has acknowledged that some maidan demosntrators were wounded by shots fired from the Hotel Ukraine.[71]By October 2015, Ukraine’s new General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin acknowledged that there was no evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement in the Maidan shootings.[72] On October 15th Shokin had the offices and homes of three SP deputies searched as part of the investigation into the shootings, and these deputies were being summoned for questioning ‘as witnesses.’[73] However, Shokin’s move seems to have been a weapon deployed in the overall struggle power between the neo-fascist and oligarchic wings dominating post-Maidan Ukraine’s polity. The day before, the SP and RS for the first time since Maidan held a joint march in Kiev ostensibly in order to honor World War II’s OUN and UPA, but the slogans condemned President Poroshenko and called for a national revolution against what they regard as an oligarchic regime.[74] Thus, the investigation continued to bog down, and no one was fired as Poroshenko threatened. This suggests that there may be serious split over what direction the investigation should take 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. In lieu of international pressure for an objective investigation, only a final showdown between the two wings of the Maidan regime won decisively by Poroshenko might 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.

Western international organizations have accused the Maidan authorities of poor progress in investigating, delaying, obstructing or covering up the events of February 20th. For example, the Council of Europe’s (CE) International Advisory Group concluded that “serious investigative deficiencies … have undermined the authorities’ ability to establish the circumstances of the Maidan-related crimes and to identify those responsible.” It regards the investigation to be hindered by numerous “failures,” “obstructiveness” (in particular on the part of the MVD), a lack of will, too few 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.[75] In its annual report for 2015, Amnesty International concluded: “Little progress was made in investigating violations and abuses related to the 2013-14 pro-European demonstration in the capital Kyiv (‘Euromaydan’) and in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”[76] 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.[77] In June 2014, SP member and the Maidan government’s then acting GP Makhnitskiy claimed the GPO had given audiotapes to the FBI for enhancement in connection with the investigation, but more than 20 months later the FBI has neither confirmed receiving the tapes nor released results of their investigation.[78] But neither Washington, Brussels, Berlin, London nor Paris have ever demanded an objective investigation, mentioning the issue only when questioned by journalists, usually those from Russia.

_____________________

Footnotes

[1] “Breaking: Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone,” You Tube, 5 March 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8.

[2] 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. Ivan Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” Academia.edu, Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014, www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine, p. 55 and Ivan Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” Academia.edu, 20 February 2015, www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine, p. 55 or 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, http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs053/11 02820649387/archive/1102911694293.html.

[3] Konrad Schuller, “Wie kam es zum Blutbad auf dem Majdan?,” 8 February 2015, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/europa/ukraine-die-hundertschaften-und-die-dritte-kraft-13414018.html; Gabriel Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre,” BBC News Magazine, 12 February 2015, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31359021; “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann, You Tube, 14 February 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ary_l4vn5ZA; and Vyacheslav Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali,” Apostrophe.com, 20 February 2015, http://apostrophe.com.ua/article/society/2015-02-20/obschee-mnenie-boytsov-byilo-takim-chto-nas-prosto-predali/1284. 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, http://bne.eu/content/story/kyiv-blog-what-triggered-maidan-massacre.

[4] Margarita Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane,” Vesti Ukraine, 20 November 2014, http://vesti-ukr.com/strana/78265-kto-i-kak-skryvaet-pravdu-o-rasstrelakh-na-majdane, cited in Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” p. 15.

[5] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” p. 55.

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

[7] Vyacheslav Khrypun, “Obshee mnenie boitsov bylo takim, chto nas prosto predali,” Apostrophe.com, 20 February 2015, http://apostrophe.com.ua/article/society/2015-02-20/obschee-mnenie-boytsov-byilo-takim-chto-nas-prosto-predali/1284.

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

[9] “Na Maidany strilyav til’ki odin Avtomat AK-74,” YouTube, 24 November 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZz_VOa9REA, cited in Ivan Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper delivered to the American Political Science Association annual conference (from here on identified as ‘APSA paper’), San Francisco, California, 3-6 September 2015, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245, p. 14.

[10]See the photograph shot in evening with a series of pro-Maidan demonstrators wearing helmets and holding shields with one demonstrator in the foreground whiose helmet bears a white letter ‘V’ in a white circle at “Ukaine. 2014. Kiev, February 18th. Maidan square clashes,” Cesura.it, http://www.cesura.it/projectGallery.php?pagineCod=2205416, last accessed 13 February 2016.

[11] “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by Beck-Hofmann.

[12] “’Pravyi sektor’ otvetil SBU: ‘ob”yavil ‘aktsiyu prinuzhdeniya k miru,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 20 February 2014, http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2014/02/20/7014989/.

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

[14] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version).”

[15] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” 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,” Lb.ua, 22 February 2014, http://lb.ua/news/2014/02/22/256600_vozrozhdenie_radi.html.

[16] Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane,” cited in Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” p. 15.

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

[18] “Zvit TCK shodo podii 18-20 lyutogo v Kievi,” Offitsialnyi sait Gennaddiy Moskal’, 7 May 2014, http://www.moskal.in.ua/?categoty=news&news_id=1099.

[19] “Bogoslovskaya: est’ video, gde muzhchina v forme ‘Berkut’ strelyaet po Maidanu i silovikam,” Lb.ua, 21 February 2014, http://lb.ua/news/2014/02/21/256446_bogoslovskaya_video_gde.html.

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

[21] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” p. 21.

[22] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” p. 32, Map 1, and pp. 33-52.

[23] “Maidan – February 20, 2014 (3),” You Tube, 20 February 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXwLuDlhf1E, last accessed 7 May 2015.

[24] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” 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)”.

[25] Zvit TSK shodo podii 18-20 lyutogo v Kyevi,” Gennadii Moskal, 5 July 2014, http://www.moskal.in.ua/?categoty=news&news_id=1099, cited in Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper.

[26] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine”; “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.

[27] 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, http://podrobnosti.ua/2029175-vpervye-upa-zasvetilas-v-ubijstve-militsionera-vo-vremja-evromajdana.html. On the claim for the 2015 murders, see “’Oppozitsionyi Blok’ zayavil ob ugrozakh ot ‘Ukrainskoi povstancheskoi armii,” Korrespondent, 17 April 2015, http://korrespondent.net/ukraine/3504818-oppozytsyonnyi-blok-zaiavyl-ob-uhrozakh-ot-ukraynskoi-povstancheskoi-armyy?hc_location=ufi.

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

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

[30] Oksana Kovalenko, “Sotnik, yakii perelomiv khid istorii: Treba bulo dotiskati,” Ukrainskaya Pravda, 24 February 2014, http://www.pravda.com.ua/articles/2014/02/24/7016048/.

[31] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 20.

[32] Kovalenko, “Sotnik, yakii perelomiv khid istorii: Treba bulo dotiskati.”

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

[34] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 20.

[35] “Protiv Semenchenko vozbudili ryad ugolovnykh del,” Vesti Ukraina, 11 February 2016, http://vesti-ukr.com/strana/135685-protiv-semenchenko-vozbudili-rjad-ugolovnyh-del.

[36] Yevgenii Shvets, “Igor Mazur: Na Maidani buli lyudi, yaki strilyali po ‘Berkutu.’ Ya – ne zmig,” LB.ua, 4 April 2014, http://lb.ua/news/2014/04/04/261907_igor_mazur_bilogo_%20odnoznachno.html.

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

[38] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” p. 19 and “Maidan Massacre,” Documentary Film by John Beck-Hofmann.

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

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

[41] “Dvadtsyat’ svidchen’ pro perelamnii den’ protistoyan’ na Maidani (English subtitles),” UkrLife, 27 May 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs_4skLIqns.

[42] Margarita Chimiris, “Kto i kak skryvaet pravdu o rasstrelakh na Maidane”, cited by Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine, ”APSA paper.

[43] Gatehouse, “The untold story of the Maidan massacre” and Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 15.

[44] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 15. For the sources for the two‘112 Ukraina’ broadcast videos and the other video showing the warning from the stage and so on, see Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 68, fns 48, 49, and 50.

[45] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 17. For Katchanovski’s sources, see Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 69, fn 55.

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

[47] “Spetsnazovets Asavelyuk rasskazal kak ego rasstrelivali maidanshiki,” You Tube, 25 February 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlhoUCQVODQ.

[48] “200214,” YouTube, 17 March 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YUDbQ-4r6w, last accessed on 16 February 2016.

[49] ZDF Special, Professor Ivan Katchanovski’s Facebook Page, Facebook.com, 13 March 2015, http://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=989716864391533&pnref=story.

[50] “Ukraine: Snipers target police in Independence Square,” YouTube, 20 February 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2PTeUBCPAQ, last accessed on 16 February 2016.

[51] “Ukraine: Ruptly reporter shot by Maidan sniper,” YouTube, 20 February 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzq1xUGnzIs, last accessed 16 February 2016.

[52] Ivan Siyak, “Ivan Bubenchik: ‘Ya ubil ikh v zatylok. Eto pravda,” Bird in Flight, 19 February 2016, https://birdinflight.com/ru/mir/ivan-bubenchik-ya-ubil-ih-v-zatylok-eto-pravda.html.

[53] Siyak, “Ivan Bubenchik: ‘Ya ubil ikh v zatylok. Eto Pravda.”

[54] “Zvit TCK shodo podii 18-20 lyutogo v Kievi,” Offitsialnyi sait Gennaddiy Moskal’, 7 May 2014, http://www.moskal.in.ua/?categoty=news&news_id=1099.

[55] “Amnesty International konstantirovala otsutsvii progressa v rassledovanii ubiistv na Maidane i v Odesse,” Vesti Ukraina, 24 February 2016,  http://vesti-ukr.com/kiev/137366-amnesty-international-konstratirovala-otsutstvii-progressa-v-rassledovanii-ubijstv-na-majdane-i-v-odesse.

[56] Vladimir Ivakhchenko and Andrei Sharii, “V Protsesse raskritiya,” Radio Svoboda, 8 May 2015, www.svoboda.org/content/article/26963387.html.

[57] A total of 57 were from the ten westernmost regions in and around Galicia, 36 were from Ukraine’s 16 other regions. There were six foreigners: three from Georgia, two from Belarus, and one from Russia. One victim’s residence and place of birth were not indicated. Calculated from “Nebesnaya sotna,” http://nebesnasotnya.com.ua/ru/, last accessed 25 February 2016.

[58] Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” pp. 29, 47-48.

[59] “Kolossalnoi oshibkoi byla poterya trekh mesyatsev rassledovaniya,” 112.ua, 25 January 2016, http://112.ua/interview/kolossalnoy-oshibkoy-byla-poterya-pervyh-treh-mesyacev-rassledovaniya-sobytiy-maydana-287156.html.

[60] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 5 and Mariya Zhartov’ska, “Sdichiy u spravi Maidanu: V ‘Berkuta’ faktichno vubulasya lishe zmina nazvi,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 23 January 2015, http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/articles/2015/01/23/7056061/.

[61] Steve Stecklow and Oleksandr Akymenko, “Special Report: Flaws found in Ukraine’s probe of Maidan massacre,” Reuters, 10 October 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/10/us-ukraine-killings-probe-special-report-idUSKCN0HZ0UH20141010.

[62] Ivan Katchanovski, “January 28 at 9:35pm,” Facebook, 28 January 2016, www.facebook.com/ivan.katchanovski/posts/1167164089980142?pnref=story and Ivan Katchanovski, “February 6 at 4:37pm,” Facebook, 6 February 2016, https://www.facebook.com/ivan.katchanovski/posts/1172375942792290.

[63] “Sud pochav rpzglyad spravi she tr’okh eks-berkutivtsiv,” YouTube, 26 January 2016, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgBoTKewzVQ.

[64] “Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/42824/15-k,” Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 20 November 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/54278484; “Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/47700/15-k,” Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 23 December 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/54672972; “Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/13417/15-k,” Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 23 April 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/52100569; and “Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/39038/15-k,” Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 30 October 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/53868110. In addition, there is an investigation of involvement in the Maidan massacre of two robbers of a jewelry store arrested in Kremenchuk in May 2015. The registration number of one of the robbers’ Makarov pistol matches one taken during the seizure of the SBU headquarters in Ivano-Frankivsk on 18 February 2014 by the Maidan protesters and, according to the GPO, was used possibly to shoot police on the Maidan on 20 February 2014. “Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/40033/15-k,” Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 29 October 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/53416626. The names of the two Kremencug robbery suspects were not made public, but were reported to have stated during the robbery that they fought in unidentified units during the civil war Donbas. “Strilyanina u Kremenchutsi: v misti lovili garbizhnikiv, yaki stverdzhuvali, scho vony – z ATO, Hromadskoe TV”, YouTube, 19 May 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqC9SfQZQcw. Hennadii Moskal, the governor of the Transcarpathian Region, stated in January 2016 that a handgun confiscated from one RS activist during a recent attack on a ski resort in the region was also taken during the seizure of the SBU offices in Ivano-Frankivsk on 18 February 2014. “Odin iz pistoletiv, viluchenikh vid predstavnikiv ‘Pravorog sektora’ na ‘Dragobaty’, buv vikradenii y lyutomu 2014 roku pid chas zakhlopennya upravlinnya SBU v Ivano-Frankiviskiy oblasti,” Zakarpat’ska oblasna derzhanva administratsiya, 16 January 2016, www.carpathia.gov.ua/ua/publication/content/12885.htm. All that is cited in this footnote is based on Ivan Katchanovski, “January 26 at 2:43,” Facebook, 26 January 2016, http://www.facebook.com/ivan.katchanovski/posts/1165670110129540.

[65] “Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/26405/15-k,” Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 5 August 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/48107496 and Katchanovski, “January 26 at 2:43.”

[66] Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/37009/15-k, Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 7 October 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/52580547 and Ukhvala imenem Ukraini – Sprava No. 757/37002/15-k, Pecherskiy raionniy sudy mista Kiev, Yediniy Derzhavniy reestr sudovikh rishen’, 7 October 2015, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/52580748.

[67] “Roku slidchiy suddya Pechers’kogo raionnogo sudu m. Kieva Karaban’ V.M., pri sekretari Maiorenko Ya.M., za uchastyu storoni kriminal’nogo provadzhennnya slidchogo Nechitalyuka M.M.,” Ukhvala Imenem Ukrainiy, Sprava No. 757/5885/16-k, Pecherskiy Raionniy Sud Mista Kieva,” Ediniy derzhavniy ryeestr sudovikh rishen’, Reyestr.court.gov.ua, 12 February 2016, http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/55966993. See also Ivan Katchanovski, “Maidan Shootings,” Facebook, 6 March 2016, 11.29am, https://www.facebook.com/ivan.katchanovski?fref=ts and Ivan Katchanovski, “Maidan Shootings,” Facebook, 6 March 2016 in Johnson’s Russia List, #39, Issue 46, 7 March 2016, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs053/1102820649387/archive/1102911694293.html.

[68] Serhiy Leschenko, “Nalyvaichenko proti Surkova – stsenariy dlya Medvedchuka,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 16 April 2015, http://blogs.pravda.com.ua/authors/leschenko/552ee534b5a10/.

[69] “GPU sobiraet u naseleniya gilzy i shlemy s Maidana,” Vesti Ukraine, 29 April 2015, http://video.vesti-ukr.com/strana/3837-gpu-sobiraet-u-naselenija-gilzy-i-shlemy-s-majdana.

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

[71] Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” APSA paper, p. 5 and Mariya Zhartov’ska, “Sdichiy u spravi Maidanu: V ‘Berkuta’ faktichno vubulasya lishe zmina nazvi,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 23 January 2015, http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/articles/2015/01/23/7056061/.

[72] “Shokin: V rasstrele nebesnoi sotni rossiiskiy sled ne obnaruzhen,” Vesti Ukraina, 16 October 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/kiev/119327-shokin-v-rasstrele-nebesnoj-sotni-rossijskij-sled-ne-obnaruzhen.

[73] “Troe zamestitelei Tyahniboka pribyli na dopros v Genprokuraturu,” Liga.net, 16 October 2015, http://news.liga.net/news/politics/6870914-troe_zamestiteley_tyagniboka_pribyli_na_dopros_v_genkprokuraturu.htm.

[74] “Marsh geroiv u stol’nomu gradi,” Pravyysektor.info, 14 October 2015, http://pravyysektor.info/news/news/999/marsh-geroyiv-u-stolici.html and Alina Bondareva, “Marsh natsionalistov v Kieve: v aktsii uvideli nachalo protivostoyaniya s vlast’yu,” Vesti Ukraina, 15 October 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/kiev/119107-marsh-nacionalistov-v-kieve-v-akcii-uvideli-nachalo-protivostojanija-s-vlastju.

[75] “Report of the International Advisory Panel on its review of the Maidan Investigations,” Council of Europe International Advisory Council, 31 March 2015, https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=09000016802f038b and Allison Quinn “International report finds numerous failures in Maidan murders investigation,” Kyiv Post, 31 March 2015, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/kyiv-post-plus/international-report-findsnumerous-failure-in-investigation-into-maidan-shootings-384957.html.

[76] Amnesty International Report 2015/16: The State of the World’s Human Rights, Amnesty.org, 23 February 2016, http://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/2552/2016/en/, p. 378.

[77] “Interpol vidmovivsya rozshukuvati bepkutivtsiv – GPU,” Ukrinform, 15 April 2015, http://www.ukrinform.ua/ukr/news/interpol_vidmovivsya_rozshukuvati_berkutivtsiv___gpu_2043451.

[78] “GPU peredala FBR video s mest rasstrelov na Maidane,” LB.ua, 13 June 2014, http://lb.ua/news/2014/06/13/269720_gpu_peredala_fbr_video_mest.html.

12 thoughts on “REPORT: The Real Ukrainian “Snipers’ Massacre”, 20 February 2014

  1. It’s one large conspiracy against president Yanukovich and Ukrainian people who were left in a dream that UA would become part of the EU – which was NEVER the case. The USA and EU were represented in UA from 1991 and never undertook ANY investments in modernizing UA industries to meet western standards like DIN standards. As a result UA industry remained in a sub-Soviet standard not accepted by the west. All western money was used to modernize government offices and other State buildings. The main reason that corruption developed at the highest levels in government. However, today’s corruption under Poroshenko is worse than under Kuchma and Yushchenko/Timoshenko.
    The main objective of Washington is to destroy Ukraine in the hope that people will become desperate and will turn their hate/violence against their fellow country men – like under Bandera in WW II – in the hope Russia will attack UA so USA/NATO have a reason to start WW III.

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  2. The BBC had a piece at the time where one of their reporters was with a team of 4 policemen sheltered behind a wall, trying to identify and shoot the snipers. Their main concern like good policemen everywhere seemed to be the safety of ALL the public present.

    I still haven’t found an explanation for the shootings that I believe. Elections were due shortly anyway. Yanukovych had been sufficiently balanced (you may call it incompetent) to trouble all sides so removing him wasn’t an obvious make or break issue.

    Unlike most, I think the problem was of internal origin. Follow the money from Ukrainian oligarchs to the Clintons ($12m from Pinchuk), Blair ($0.5m a year for an unknown period), Bildt, Perez and various think tanks, journalists and officials. Pinchuk and Akhmetov’s annual extravaganza in Crimea – attended by Clintons. It was not “Western” interference in Ukraine. It was Ukrainian factions lobbying for Western influence. Wkileaks-Cablegate shows no particular dark deeds by the US Embassy in Kiev in 2004 (their cables are included in the leaks). The Embassy funded the exit poll. Only in the eyes of the Russian Siloviki and conspiracy theorists the world over can that be construed as a CIA provoked colour revolution. Putin did more by making speeches in person in Ukraine. Imagine a US president speaking in Calgary in favour of secessionists during an election. The French funding an exit poll in Ontario in the same election might not seem so bad.

    My vote is for one of the Ukrainian oligarchs funding the snipers to stop a rival winning the Maidan in some way. Akhmetov seems to have been too timid judging by his later behaviour. Which really leaves Kolomeisky, although I wouldn’t completely rule out a Russian nationalist or even Transneistria. The T’s seem to have had a hand in the Odessa massacre. There were far too many men of prime working age at the demonstrations. They were physically fit; soldiers or security guards. They must have been paid. Looking externally for Brezinskite plots is not required. Nuland was there to surf the wave, not make it.

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About Gordon M. Hahn