Maidan's Activists Shot by 'Police Snipers', Says Inquiry

World | April 3, 2014, Thursday // 12:38| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Maidan's Activists Shot by 'Police Snipers', Says Inquiry Photo by EPA/BGNES

It was Ukrainian police snipers that shot dead protesters at Kiev's Maidan square, according to a government inquiry.

Ukraine's agency UNIAN, quoting cabinet officials, suggests former Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko coordinated the crackdown of February's protesters.

Reports reveal he used the so-call "titushki", wrestlers usually hired by different factions (regardless opposition or government) to mar the unrest using provocation.

Later information by the inquiry confirms that Viktor Zubritskiy, who is described as having close ties with Zakharchenko, was the one exerting control over actions by the "titushki".

Earlier on Thursday Ukrainian authorities detained several members of the Berkut police unit, which was disbanded short after ousted President Yanukovych was replaced by an interim leadership.

The arrests were ordered over suspicions that the members took part in the shooting of protesters which left more than 100 people dead in a few days.

The current inquiry, which looks into 76 deaths at Institutska street, has also revealed that 17 of the victims died "in clashes between protesters and police", UNIAN has reported.

Ukraine's Security Service Chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko even said Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) had been involved in the crackdown, claiming that 26 of its members took part in the operation.

Russia's intelligence services did not immediately comment on the issue.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov was quoted by the BBC as saying the detained Berkut men are three, with nine more already identified, while UNIAN puts the number of arrested at 12.

Avakov named Berkut's Maj Dmytro Sadovnyk as a commader of a unit which purportedly shot dead at least 17 protesters.

A government report on the issue is expected to be released later on Thursday.

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