2 – Yanukovych TALKS: Katchanovski researches the Maidan
BSSB.BE academia.edu 30.11.2016
The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine
Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D.
School of Political Studies
University of Ottawa
Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association in San Francisco, September 3-6, 2015
The massacre of almost 50 Maidan protesters on February 20, 2014 was a turning point in Ukrainian politics and a tipping point in the conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine.
This mass killing of the protesters and the mass shooting of the police that preceded it led to the overthrow of the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych and gave a start to a civil war in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, Russian military intervention in Crimea and Donbas, and an international conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine.
- B) Who killed the protesters, and was it organized mass murder?
Following the retreat of the police units around 8:50am on February 20, 2014, crowds of protesters the absolute majority of whom were unarmed — started to advance from their stronghold at Maidan up Instytutska and Hrushevsky streets. Their advance was guided by commands announced from the Maidan stage over loudspeakers, which were issued by Maidan leaders and company commanders of the Maidan Self-Defense. (See Video Appendix 1 ).
- This was around the time when the massacre of the protesters started in this general area. Volodymyr Ariev, an investigative journalist and a member of the parliament from the Fatherland party, concluded that “snipers” came to the Hotel Ukraina from the MusicConservatory side and that they blocked the Ruptly TV crew on the 14th floor of the hotel.
- The most complete time-stamped version of the Alfacommanders’ radio intercept synchronized with the local time indicates that their report of shooters moving to the Hotel Ukraina was made at 9:23am.
- It is contained among the intercepted radio exchanges of Alfa, Berkut, the Internal Troops, Omega, and other government agencies during the entire Maidan protests.
- The Alfa commanders’ intercept demonstrates that snipers from this SBU unit were givenan order to deploy to the Presidential Administration soon after a full combat readiness was reported by them at 7:24am, i.e., after the reported shooting of the police from the Conservatory
- It also contains similar orders to get arms and deploy to these and other government locations to other SBU units around the same time. Publicly available versions of these intercepts came from several different pro-Maidan sources. One version with omitted parts was posted by a news website run by an advisor to the current Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, but it was also not acknowledged by the government.
An unedited and time-stamped intercept of a radio communication by this SBU sniper
team, led by “Miron,” demonstrates that they were tasked with and were monitoring the Hotel
Ukraina, specifically its top floors, and other neighboring buildings for snipers and their spotters, who helped to direct the fire, after the massacre was already underway.
These snipers detected armed people, who shot from the tops of the buildings or were lying there, and then swiftly moved away after their location was communicated via radio among the SBU snipers.
The Alfa snipers were based then the Cabinet of Ministers building (See Map 1). There are no sounds of gunshots by these SBU Alfa snipers or other indications that they fired in the audio clips,
which span the most intense phase of the killings from 9:35am till 11:13am. Similarly, no evidence was produced that the protesters were killed with German sniper rifles used by this group of snipers
However, an edited version of this SBU sniper team’s radio communications intercept was posted on YouTube on the day of the massacre with its content and added photos of the massacre misrepresented to claim that these were the killers.
- It was swiftly used by Ukrainian politicians, including the head of the parliamentary commission, and the media as key evidencethat these SBU snipers killed the protesters. “Miron” stated that this highly publicized version was also cut and did not include their reports of civilians carrying weapons in bags in the European Square.
- The time-stamped version includes such cut-out parts in the beginning and the end, but some key time periods during the massacre are missing there also. The Omega commander and an Internal Troops commander in charge of such special units stated that they received orders to target snipers at the Hotel Ukraina and other locations and had permission to shoot at armed protesters.
- A former Berkut officer said that a sniper that accompanied the Berkut special company had a task to look for a Right Sector sniper in the Hotel Ukraina.
- There are various videos showing that the entrance, stairways, and elevators in the Hotel Ukraina during the entire massacre since about 9:00am were controlled by the Maidan side.
- Mykola Romaniuk, a Maidan Self-Defense unit commander confirms that the Hotel Ukraina was under control of the Maidan during the massacre on February 20, but he denied that any shooters were in the hotel. He states that he personally and his unit members guarded the Hotel Ukraina and checked bags of those who entered the hotel since the end of January 2014.
Since the beginning of the massacre, this unit commander, Maidan Self-Defense members, and Svoboda leaders and activists were seen in various videos in the lobby and at the entrances to the hotel and hotel elevators and stairs. Similarly, a senior Hotel Ukraina staff member stated that the Maidan protesters controlled this hotel before and during the massacre and that no police entered the hotel. She also denied that any snipers were there but said that there are bullet holes in windows in some 20 hotel rooms.
This is another indication that the Berkut and Omega targeted Maidan shooters at this hotel and that these shooters and their spotters and security were able to move freely to different floors and rooms
But this group of the Maidan “snipers” showed no visible concern about being in a shooting range of the Hotel Ukraina and Ukrkoopspilka “snipers” and the Berkut special company or attempts to locate and stop the snipers. Conversely, these “snipers” did not target these and other armed Maidan shooters. Such seemingly irrational actions become rational if the Parasiuk special Maidan company “snipers” and the initial Hotel Ukraina “snipers” were from the same side.
This group of the armed Maidan “snipers” were not seen in videos and photos from 9:10am till 10:19am, when Parasiuk along with a group of armed protesters were filmed running into the Hotel Ukraina. Theirs and other Maidan armed groups absence during the time when the absolute majority of the 49 protesters were killed is a “dog that did not bark” evidence indicating that they were the actual snipers.
Photo 3. Volodymyr Parasiuk in black balaklava (on the left) and his special Maidan company members, one of whom carries a Kalashnikov assault rifle or its hunting version (on the right), walk past the Maidan stage during the massacre at 9:10am from the Trade Union building direction shortly after the Internal Troops were targeted by “snipers: from this building Sour ce:
“Майдан.20.02.14,” Igor Teslenko, 2014, ).
At 10:18/10:19am members of this group and the first group, including Parasiuk, were filmed by several British and French TV channels and Ukraina TV channel entering the Hotel Ukraina along with some other armed protesters.
But this Ukraina TV video has not been reported by the Ukrainian media. The Ukrainian investigation and the media either deny existence of these Maidan “snipers” or claim that they are unknown snipers from the government or the “third side.