The Maidan Massacre Trial and Investigation Revelations: Implications for the Ukraine-Russia War and Relations
This study analyzes revelations from the trial and investigation in Ukraine concerning the mass killing that took place in Kyiv on 20 February 2014. This Maidan massacre of protesters and police led to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government and ultimately to the Russian annexation of Crimea, the civil war and Russian military interventions in Donbas, and the Ukraine-Russia and West-Russia conflicts which Russia escalated by illegally invading Ukraine in 2022. The absolute majority of wounded Maidan protesters, nearly 100 prosecution and defense witnesses, synchronized videos, and medical and ballistic examinations by government experts pointed unequivocally to the fact that the Maidan protesters were massacred by snipers located in Maidan-controlled buildings. To date, however, due to the political sensitivity of these findings and cover-up, no one has been convicted for this massacre. The article discusses the implications of these revelations for the Ukraine-Russia war and the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets; it is the rule’. –Voltaire
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.2John Adams at the Boston massacre trial
The massacre of protesters and police during the ‘Euromaidan’ mass protests on February 20, 2014, in Ukraine was a tipping point in the conflict in Ukraine and in the Ukraine-Russia and the West-Russia conflicts. This mass killing led to the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and launched spiral of conflict escalation which included the Russian annexation of Crimea and the civil war and Russian military interventions in Donbas. Russia escalated these conflicts on February 24, 2022, with its illegal invasion and the war with Ukraine, which has become a proxy war with the West.
The Maidan massacre is important not only because it is a crucial case of political violence, but also from the perspectives of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and conflict resolution. This study analyses the evidence revealed by the Maidan massacre trials and government investigation in Ukraine. The research question is as follows: what does the evidence made public by the trial and government investigation reveal about which party of the conflict was involved in this mass killing?
The dominant narrative in Ukraine and the West attributes the Maidan massacre of the protesters to the Yanukovych government and mostly ignores the killings of the police. With some exceptions, the Western and Ukrainian media also did not report the Maidan massacre trial and investigation revelations concerning snipers in the Maidan-controlled buildings.
The official investigation by the Prosecutor General Office of Ukraine (GPU) charged the Berkut police with the massacre of the Maidan protesters on February 20 on the orders of President Viktor Yanukovych and his heads of the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The GPU arrested and charged two Berkut commanders and three members of this police unit with terrorism and the murder of 48 out of 49 killed Maidan protesters and attempted murder of 80 out of 157 wounded protesters on February 20 on Yanukovych’s orders. In 2019 the Prosecutor General of Ukraine announced that the investigation of the Maidan massacre had been completed.
Yanukovych along with his heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Internal Troops, and the Security Service of Ukraine, and Berkut commanders were then charged in absentia for ordering the Maidan massacre of the protesters, but no such orders were revealed. Yanukovych, his ministers, and Berkut commanders denied that they had ordered the massacre and stated that the protesters and the police were shot by Maidan snipers. However, they did not produce specific evidence in support of their claims.
In contrast to the dominant narrative in the Western media, a German television channel ARD presented evidence showing that snipers had been based in the Hotel Ukraina, and that the government investigation was manipulated.7 An investigative report by the BBC presented similar evidence, along with a confession by one of Maidan snipers who had shot at the police from the Music Conservatory.8 Subsequently, several other protesters from far-right-linked Maidan company admitted in the Ukrainian media and social media to shooting and killing the police.
In later interviews for the American, Italian, Israeli, Macedonian and Russian media seven Georgian self-admitted members of Maidan sniper groups testified that they and other sniper groups from Georgia and the Baltic States and the far-right-linked sniper group from Ukraine received orders, weapons, and payments from specific members of the Maidan leadership and former Georgian government leaders to shoot at both protesters and police in order to prevent a peace agreement from being signed by Yanukovych and Maidan leaders. They stated that snipers shot the police and protesters from the Music Conservatory and the Hotel Ukraina.9
The Prosecutor General Office of Ukraine, Maidan victims’ lawyers, self- styled ‘fact-checking’ websites, and, with rare exceptions, the Ukrainian media claimed that these Georgians were fakes or actors.10 To corroborate their testimonies, most of these Georgians provided their names, passport numbers and border stamps, copies of plane tickets, photos from the Georgian military, and a video of one of them in the Trade-Union building during the Odesa massacre. They stated that they had entered Ukraine during the “Euromaidan” with forged passports, using false names and were not stopped at the border. The head of the Georgian Legion de facto confirmed that one of these Georgians, whose identity and testimony were dismissed as fake because of spelling error in his Georgian Ministry of Defense id, served as an adviser in this ministry.11
Despite of its central importance to the conflicts in Ukraine and the world, only a few academic studies have analyzed the Maidan massacre. Most studies found that the Maidan massacre was a ‘false flag operation’ organized and covertly conducted by elements of the Maidan leadership and the far right in order to win the asymmetric conflict during the ‘Euromaidan’ and seize power in Ukraine. Analysis of synchronized videos, eyewitnesses, and bullet holes and wound locations showed that both the police and the protesters had been shot at from Maidan-controlled buildings. These Maidan massacre studies were cited by over 100 other studies, overwhelmingly favorably.
Based on secondary sources, Serhiy Kudelia has argued that the violence was initiated by the far-right Maidan protesters, who killed and wounded many policemen and that the Berkut police then massacred unarmed protesters in turn.14 At least two other studies also found significant involvement of the far right in violence during the Maidan but did not examine the Maidan massacre specifically.15
Some studies attributed the massacre to the Berkut anti-riot police, or snipers from the Security Service of Ukraine and Internal Troops. However, they did not research the massacre specifically and relied uncritically on claims made by the Maidan politicians and sympathetic Ukrainian and Western media concerning perpetrators and organizers of this massacre.16 Some studies relied on a 3D model reconstruction of the killings made by a New York architectural company.17 However, this model misrepresented the wound locations specified in the forensic reports and consequently the location of the shooters.18 The SITU Research head stated that “… eventually, there is a consensus that there was a third party acting,” “it is clear from forensic evidence that people were shot in the back,” and “somebody was shooting from rooftops.”
On the same subject
Ukraine and the Collapse of the West
by Hans Vogel
Few could have guessed that when Russia decided to put an end to the massacre of Russians in the eastern part of the Ukraine, it would hasten the collapse of the West. Actually, we are talking about a process that began in the 1980s with the embrace of neoliberalism as the main ideology in the Anglosphere and the wider US Empire.
Hiding behind neutral facades, such as the WHO and WEF, billionaires masquerading as “philanthropists” are busy lining their pockets even more, while trying to force the rest of humanity into owning nothing, eating insects and submitting to medical experiments.
One can say a lot about neoliberalism, but the main point is that it destroys all normal human interaction and thus society. Neoliberalism’s proponents and adherents always seem to fail to grasp this. In other words, under neoliberalism, literally everything is given a monetary value, a price. When everything has a price, there remains nothing of value. In the Western manufacturing industry, it has led to the practice of engineering consumer products according to the principle of planned obsolescence. As a matter of fact, the entire economy in the West has been transformed into a system that can no longer function independently, that is, without tax cuts, special benefits and privileges, subsidies and exceptions, and good old-fashioned corruption.
Needless to say, this system has been yielding fabulous profits to banks and assorted financial businesses, most notably asset management companies such as Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street, Carlyle and KKR, as well as a handful of individuals with the right attitude and the right connections. These people – the likes of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and George Soros – are the modern equivalent of the “robber barons” of the US around 1900.
One might say the West has seen the full development of what more than a century ago the Austrian Marxist Rudolf Hilferding predicted in his book Financial Capitalism (1910). Foreseeing that a small moneyed elite would become very powerful, Hilferding wrote that they would make the state entirely subservient to them. Of course, he saw this happening in the US in his own days, but Hilferding predicted the phenomenon would extend over the entire world. Indeed, this is exactly what we see today. Hiding behind neutral facades, such as the WHO and WEF, billionaires masquerading as “philanthropists” are busy lining their pockets even more, while trying to force the rest of humanity into owning nothing, eating insects and submitting to medical experiments.