The Maidan Massacre in Ukraine: Revelations from Trials and Investigation

75 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2022

Date Written: November 29, 2021

Abstract

This study examines evidence revealed by the ongoing trial and government investigations concerning the Maidan massacre in Ukraine. The massacre of the protesters and the police during the “Euromaidan” mass protests in February 2014 contributed to the overthrow of the Ukrainian government and ultimately to a start of the civil war in Donbas, Russian military interventions in Crimea and Donbas, the Russian annexation of Crimea and an international conflict between the West and Russia. The research question is as follows: What does evidence made public by the Maidan massacre trials and Ukrainian government investigations reveal about which of the parties of the conflict was involved in this mass killing? This paper analyzes several hundred hours of video recordings of the Maidan massacre trials and information concerning investigations of this massacre in over 2,500 court decisions from the official court decisions database in Ukraine. It examines trial and investigation testimonies of wounded protesters, relatives of the killed protesters, prosecution and defense witnesses, and top officials of the Yanukovych government. The study also analyzes results of forensic ballistic and medical examinations and investigative experiments, and videos and photos of the Maidan massacre made public during the trial. It includes several online video appendixes. They contain testimonies of wounded protesters and witnesses concerning snipers in Maidan-controlled locations and content analyses of synchronized segments of American, Belgian, Belarusian, British, Finish, French, Dutch, German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian TV videos, recordings of live online broadcasts, and social media videos of this crucial massacre.

The Maidan massacre trials and investigations have revealed various evidence that four killed and several dozen wounded policemen and at least the absolute majority of 49 killed and 157 wounded Maidan protesters were massacred on February 20, 2014 by snipers in Maidan-controlled buildings and areas. Such evidence includes testimonies of the absolute majority of wounded protesters, several dozens of prosecution witnesses, dozens of defense witnesses, and 14 self-admitted members of Maidan snipers groups. Videos presented at the trial showed that times of shooting of the absolute majority of protesters did not coincide with times of shooting by the Berkut policemen, who were charged with their massacre. Forensic medical examinations determined that the overwhelming majority of the protesters were shot from steep directions from the sides or the back. Initial ballistic examinations did not match bullets extracted from the bodies of killed and wounded protesters to the Berkut Kalashnikovs. Forensic examinations of the bullet holes by the government experts for the Maidan massacre trial suggested that Berkut policemen were shooting in the Hotel Ukraina snipers above the Maidan protesters and in trees and poles. The analysis shows cover-up and stonewalling of the investigations and trials by the Maidan governments and the far right. The prosecution denied that there were any snipers in the Maidan-controlled buildings. Not a single person is convicted or under arrest for the massacre of the protesters and the police almost 8 years after one of the most documented mass killings in history.

Keywords: Ukraine Conflict Violence Trial Criminal Justice

Suggested Citation

Katchanovski, Ivan, The Maidan Massacre in Ukraine: Revelations from Trials and Investigation (November 29, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4048494 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4048494

Ivan Katchanovski (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa ( email )

School of Political Studies
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://uottawa.academia.edu/IvanKatchanovski

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