Maidan shootings started six years ago

Maidan shootings started six years ago

On this day six years ago, the most tragic stage of the Revolution of Dignity began in Ukraine.

February 18-20, 2014, about a hundred people were killed in Kyiv city center, several dozen people went missing, more than a thousand were injured, and hundreds were arrested and tortured.

On the morning of February 18, 2014, the protesters organized a march, which was called the “Peaceful Offensive”, to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to stop the arbitrariness of the public authorities. The citizens called on the authorities to adopt the decisions for overcoming crisis and settling the situation in the country, primarily, to limit the powers of the President of Ukraine by amending the Constitution of Ukraine. The police officers, acting on instructions from the leadership of the law enforcement agency, together with the hired thugs, grossly violated the current legislation and used excessive violence and firearms in a brutal crackdown on the march.

As a result, on February 18, 23 people were killed and 509 more were injured (in particular, 37 people received serious bodily injuries and 85 people – moderate bodily injuries).

In September 2014, Ukraine opened criminal proceedings on the investigation into the crimes committed during the Maidan protests. However, bringing to justice the alleged organizers of the crackdown on the Maidan is an extremely difficult process as a significant number of them fled abroad, in particular to Russia.

On February 20, 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine stated that it had practically completed its investigation into the shooting of Maidan activists. The commission of experts concluded on the basis of 988 volumes of the investigation files that the deaths and injuries of the EuroMaidan participants had a direct relationship to the decisions and actions of then-president Viktor Yanukovych, chief of the Security Service of Ukraine Oleksandr Yakymenko and his subordinates.

However, on 20 November 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office lost its authority to investigate those criminal proceedings as a result of the reform and began to submit the case files to the State Investigation Bureau. The Bureau should get 50 Maidan cases, and another 40 cases will be submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.


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