By Johannes Stern. Republished with permission from WSWS.org.
[Picture and additional story from Jurist.org.]
Seven weeks after the right-wing coup in Ukraine, evidence is mounting that the Western-backed opposition at the time was responsible for the lethal shootings in Independence Square on February 20. This was suggested by a report on the German public television programme “Monitor” last Thursday evening, and which is available online (in German).
“According to research it appears unlikely that the shots on demonstrators came exclusively from the side of the old regime,” stated a press release made available prior to the program. In its report, “Monitor” raised the question, “Did radical oppositionists end up shooting in order to produce chaos and place the blame on Yanukovitch?” The presented videos, interviews and sound recordings suggest precisely this!
“Monitor” presented an extract of radio traffic from alleged sharp-shooters of the Yanukovitch regime, who were positioned on various rooftops in the centre of Kiev on February 20. The discussion was picked up by a Ukrainian radio amateur. One of the snipers can be heard asking his colleagues, “Hey guys, they are over there, on the right of the hotel Ukrayina. Who is shooting? Our people don’t shoot at unarmed civilians.” Then he calls, “Guys, there is a sniper who is aiming at me. Who is he aiming at from the corner? Look out.” A short time later someone else says, “Someone shot him. But not us. Are there more snipers over there? And who are they?”
On other videos, activists who marched along Institutska Street on February 20, can be seen being shot not only from the front, that is, from the direction of government buildings, but also from behind. Nikola, an eyewitness who is visible on several videos, confirmed, “Yes, on the 20th [February] we were shot from behind, from the Hotel Ukrayina, from the eighth or ninth floor. People were standing up there and shooting at us and we were also shot from the other direction.”
Responding to the question as to who had shot them from the Hotel Ukrayina, he answered, “I don’t know. They were soldiers, certainly professionals.”
On the day of the shootings, the Hotel Ukrayina was firmly under the control of the opposition and was heavily guarded. Numerous witnesses, journalists and oppositionists confirmed this to “Monitor”. On the morning of February 20, the opposition even introduced entry controls. Only those with a room key or identification were allowed into the hotel. The “Monitor” reporters come to the conclusion, “Therefore it would have been very difficult for a sniper to sneak in.”
In addition, the reporters reviewed pictures from Russian television, which allegedly show armed oppositionists firing at demonstrators. “Precisely who is shooting at whom is not possible to confirm,” However, it was determined that “the recording was definitely made in the Hotel Ukrayina.” It was also confirmed that “not only oppositionists, but also the government militias were shot at. And perhaps this was also by the same people.”
A doctor, who treated victims on both sides, confirmed this in an interview. “The injured who we treated had the same type of bullet wounds. I’m speaking about the type of bullets we took out of the bodies in operations. They were identical. I can’t say any more”, he stated.
The explosive report concurs with the intercepted telephone call between Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet and the foreign policy head of the EU, Catherine Ashton, at the beginning of March. Paet also based himself on information from doctors and stated that “the same snipers shot people on both sides.” He warned that “the conclusion that not Yanukovitch, but members of the new coalition were behind the shootings is increasingly reinforced.”
Since then, the transitional government in Kiev and its Western allies have desperately sought to cover up the true course of events. Only last week, Ukrainian general state prosecutor Oleg Machnizki of the fascist Svoboda, arrested 12 members of the now dissolved special Berkut unit and presented them as the main suspects in the shootings.
“Monitor” cites a high-ranking member of the investigative committee, who calls the version of events from the state prosecutor into doubt. “My investigation results do not agree with those presented by the state prosecutor at the press conference,” said the investigator, who wished to remain anonymous, in an interview.
A lawyer for the victims suggested that the entire investigation was a deliberate ploy by the transitional government to bury their own crimes. “None of us are getting any information on the investigation”, he complained. “And if you ask me, there is one simple reason for this: it is not being investigated properly. As a lawyer of the victims I am saying to you that the state prosecutor is not investigating properly. They are covering for their own people. They are partisan as before.”