Kiev snipers were Opposition hitmen

Leaked phone call provides new insights into last month’s clashes

Updated - December 03, 2021 08:09 am IST

Published - March 05, 2014 11:21 pm IST - MOSCOW:

The snipers who shot dozens of protesters in Ukraine were not police but hitmen hired by the opposition, according to a sensational leaked phone call that casts in a new and shocking light the Ukrainian “revolution.”

In the transcript of the intercepted phone call, posted on the Russia Today website on Wednesday, Estonian Foreign Affairs Minister Urmas Paet told EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton that it was not Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich who was behind the shootings, “but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

Mr. Paet called Ms. Ashton after his visit to Kiev on February 26, five days after the opposition seized power.

Recalling his meeting with Dr. Olga Bogomolets, who treated people shot by snipers during protests in Kiev in the run-up to Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster, Mr. Paet said: “What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides.”

Ms. Ashton is heard saying in response: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”

The Estonian Minister continued: “She then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.

“So there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Mr. Paet said.

A total of 94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the violent clashes between police and protesters at Maidan Square in Kiev last month.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry confirmed the authenticity of the tape, which RT said was reportedly uploaded by officers of Ukraine’s security service, SBU, loyal to Mr. Yanukovych.

Mr. Paet described the sniper issue as “disturbing,” adding that “it already discredits from the very beginning” the new U.S.-backed Ukrainian government.

Ms. Bogomolets has been appointed Health Minister in the interim cabinet.

The EU foreign policy chief told the Estonian Minister that “we do have to investigate,” but then suggested that the scandal should be kept under wraps.

“Being an activist and a doctor, it’s very important, but she [Bogomolets] is not a politician; they have to come to some kind of accommodation for the next few weeks… and then we have the election and things will change.”

The killing of civilians became a tipping point in the three-month-long standoff between the government and the opposition.

Mr. Yanukovych had all along insisted he had not given orders to shoot, but the new authorities accused him of “mass murder” and issued an arrest warrant against him.

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