The murder of 100 pro-West demonstrators in January launched the Revolution. Now many say it was a false flag.
By Ivan Katchanovski (University of Ottawa), for Russian Insider
Exhaustive analysis by reputable academic, Canadian Ukraine specialist
Challenges narrative of Western media, which alleges the exact opposite
Alleges subsequent government cover-up
Makes substantial contribution to multiple other media reports alleging the same thesis
This academic paper first appeared on the respected blog, Johnson’s Russia List.
We are publishing it here in full, despite its length, because it is by far the most detailed and thorough investigation of the Kiev Sniper Controversy, drawing on a mass of sources and materials, some of which were previously unpublished.
It is the work of a well-known Canadian political scientist at the University of Ottawa, who is a native of Ukraine. His specialization is Ukrainian politics and history.
The study concludes that, though there is some evidence that some of the protesters killed during the Maidan disturbances may have been accidentally shot by police snipers, the great majority were killed by snipers controlled by the pro-West demonstration leaders in a false flag operation.
The study suggests this was a pre-planned provocation to discredit the then government and that these same leaders both before and especially after they seized power have engaged in a systematic cover up of the facts to conceal their own guilt.
By Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D. School of Political Studies & Department of Communication University of Ottawa
Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014
[With visuals and footnotes here academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine]
The massacre of several dozen Maidan protesters on February 20, 2014 was a turning point in Ukrainian politics and a tipping point in the escalating conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine.
The mass killing of the protesters and the mass shooting of the police that preceded it led to the overthrow of the highly corrupt and pro-Russian, but democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych and gave a start to a large-scale violent conflict that continues now in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine.
A conclusion promoted by the post-Yanukovych governments and the media in Ukraine that the massacre was perpetrated by government snipers on a Yanukovych order has been nearly universally accepted by the Western governments and the media, at least publicly, without concluding an investigation and without all evidence considered.For instance, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in his speech to the US Congress on September 18, 2014 again claimed that the Yanukovych government overthrow resulted from mass peaceful protests against police violence, in particular, killings of more than 100 protesters by snipers on February 20, 2014.
The question is which side organized the snipers massacre. This paper is the first academic study of this crucial case of the mass killing. Analysis of a large amount of evidence in this study suggests that certain elements of the Maidan opposition, including its extremist far right wing, were involved in this massacre in order to seize power and that the government investigation was falsified for this reason.
Evidence used in this study includes publicly available but unreported, suppressed, or misrepresented videos and photos of suspected shooters, live statements by the Maidan announcers, radio intercepts of the Maidan snipers, and snipers and commanders from the special Alfa unit of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), ballistic trajectories, eyewitness reports by both Maidan protesters and government special unit commanders, public statements by both former and current government officials, bullets and weapons used, types of wounds among both protesters and the police, and the track record of politically motivated misrepresentations by the Maidan politicians of other cases of violence during and after the Euromaidan and historical conflicts.
In particular, this study examines about 30 gigabytes of intercepted radio exchanges of the Security Service of Ukraine Alfa unit, Berkut, the Internal Troops, Omega, and other government agencies during the entire Maidan protests. These files were posted by a pro-Maidan Ukrainian radio amateur on a radio scanners forum, but they never were reported by the media or acknowledged by the Ukrainian government.
The timeline of the massacre with precision to minutes and locations of both the shooters and the government snipers was established in this study with great certainty based on the synchronization of the sound on the main Maidan stage, images, and other sources of evidence that independently corroborate each other.
The study uses content analysis of all publicly available videos of the massacre, in particular, an unreported, time-stamped version of a previously widely seen, long video of the massacre on Instytutska Street, videos of suspected snipers and reports of snipers in live TV broadcasts and Internet video streams from the Maidan (Independence Square), time-stamped and unedited radio intercepts of SBU Alfa snipers and commanders, and radio intercepts of Internal Troops on the Maidan.
The analysis also uses live Internet broadcasts. Recordings of all live TV and Internet broadcasts of the massacre by Espresso TV, Hromadske TV, Spilno TV, Radio Liberty, and Ukrstream TV, were either removed from their websites immediately following the massacre or not made publicly available. These recordings were mostly made by Maidan supporters, but they got very scant attention or removed from public access.
Similarly, official results of ballistic, weapons, and medical examinations and other evidence collected during the investigations concerning this massacre have not been made public, while crucial evidence, including bullets and weapons disappeared under the post-Yanukovych government. This investigation relies on such evidence reported by the media and reliable information in the social media. An on-site research on the site of the massacre on the Maidan itself and on Instytutska Street was also conducted for this study by the author.
An Academic Investigation
A recently released time-stamped version of an over 40-minute-long video, which was filmed at a close distance on Instytutska Street starting at 9:06am, covers, with some unexplained omissions, the most intense parts of the killings. It confirms that the mass killing of Maidan protesters on February 20 began on the adjacent Instytutska Street around that time.
The Berkut anti-riot police and Internal Troops units, which were besieging, storming, and blocking the Maidan for almost three months, hastily abandoned their positions and fled by 9:00am, while protesters then started to advance from their stronghold on the Maidan up Instytutska Street.
This and other videos show members of the special elite unit of the Berkut anti-riot police and “Omega” Internal Troops special unit, including two snipers, temporarily halting the advance of protesters near Zhovtnevyi Palace starting at 9:05am, shooting with both live ammunition from the Kalashnikov assault rifles (AKMS) and rubber bullets, and pointing sniper rifles in the direction of the protesters and then retreating along with Berkut and Internal Troops units, who were resting in Zhovtnevyi Palace.
After retreating to these barricades under fire, respectively, at 9:20am and 9:28am, Berkut and Omega were doing the same from two barricades on Instytutska Street and nearby buildings of the National Bank and the Club of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Directions of many bullet holes and their impact marks in the electric poles, trees, and walls of Zhovtnevyi Palace and the Hotel Ukraina also indicate that the police fired at the direction of the protesters and the protester-held buildings. SBU snipers were located in the Cabinet of Ministers, the Presidential Administration, and neighboring buildings.
The new Ukrainian government and the head of the parliamentary commission publicly stated that “snipers,” who massacred the unarmed protesters, were from these units. Specifically, the Prosecutor General Office announced on September 12, 2014 that its investigation found a Berkut commander and two members of his unit responsible for killing 39 Euromaidan protesters, or the absolute majority of some 50 protesters killed or mortally wounded on February 20, 2014.