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Shootings on the Maidan: State Bureau of Investigation notifies ex-Berkut members who fired first shots

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The State Bureau of Investigation has served suspicion notices to the former commander of the Berkut special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Sevastopol and one of the police officers of this unit who fired the first shots at the participants of the Revolution of Dignity on 20 February 2014.

This was reported by the State Bureau of Investigation.

The Bureau noted that the suspects were the direct perpetrators of the mass shootings of Maidan activists and were the first to open fire on the protesters.

The investigation established that on 20 February 2014, on Instytutska Street in Kyiv, these police officers of the Berkut special company carried out an order from their superiors and used firearms fitted with lead shot cartridges against the protesters.

As a direct result, three protesters were killed, and three others sustained gunshot wounds of varying severity.

Their shots actually served as an impetus for the continuation of premeditated killings of protesters, this time with the use of rifled automatic and sniper firearms, by members of the special forces of the Kyiv Berkut (the so-called ‘Black Company’) and the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

As a result of their actions, 48 protesters were killed, and another 90 sustained gunshot wounds.

After these events, the commander of the Sevastopol Berkut, together with the employees of the unit he led, fled to Sevastopol to avoid responsibility, where they subsequently sided with the enemy and contributed to the annexation of the peninsula.

The pre-trial investigation into this episode of criminal actions is ongoing.

For committing these crimes, the commander of the Sevastopol Berkut and his subordinate face a sentence of ten to fifteen years’ imprisonment or life imprisonment.

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