Lawyer of Berkut: People Were Shot During “Euromaidan” by Weapons Stolen in Lvov

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Participants of the coup in Kiev in February, 2014, could have opened fire from a weapon that was stolen from police departments in the Lvov region. This was reported on Wednesday with reference to the official response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs by the lawyer Aleksandr Goroshinsky, who in court defends the former employees of the special forces Berkut.

“On February 18th-19th, 2014, about 2,000 unknown persons took control of 1225 units of firearms and ammunition of various calibers from the regional departments of the police of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine of the Lvov region and the State traffic inspectorate of the Lvov municipal government. At the same time about 1,000 unidentified persons seized in the administration premises of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Ternopil region seven Makarov pistols, 112 cartridges of 9 mm caliber, two Fort-17R guns, 52 [traumatic] cartridges Teren-3F of 9 mm caliber, three ‘Fort’ pump-action shotguns, and 580 cartridges Teren-3F of 12 mm caliber,” it is said in the response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The lawyer also reminded that on the Internet a video was posted of a speech of Yury Lutsenko – who at the moment is the Prosecutor General of the country – on Independence Square in Kiev, where he confirms the capture of weapons and their transportation to Kiev in the night of February 20th, 2014. Thus, according to the lawyer, Lutsenko possessed information on the theft of weapons, and had communication and obtained information from the persons involved in it.

“This information gives a reason to defend the employees of the special forces ‘Berkut’ to assume that it is precisely from this weapon that the shooting of both protesters and police officers during the events on ‘Maidan’ in February, 2014, took place,” stated Goroshinsky.

Case of “Berkut”

In May, 2015, the Svyatoshinsky district court begun consideration of the case against five former employees of the special forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs “Berkut” – Pavel Abroskin, Sergey Zinchenko, Aleksandr Marinchenko, Sergey Tamtura, and Oleg Yanishevsky. They are accused of murdering rioters on Institutskaya Street in Kiev in February, 2014. They are incriminated with excess of office powers, illegal weapon handling, premeditated murder, and the infliction of bodily injuries.

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The former employees of “Berkut” don’t recognise the charges. Earlier the court prolonged their arrest until September 29th, 2017.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, from February 18th to March 2th, 2014, during performance of official duties in the center of Kiev 17 law enforcement officers died. As a result of forceful actions in the center of the Ukrainian capital during the period until the end of February more than 100 people died.

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