Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The fighter of the Maidan self-defense force Vladimir Venchak, a native of the Lvov area who received six wounds during the mass riots on February 20th, 2014, stated that shots were fired at him in general from the building of the “Ukraine” hotel.
He gave such a testimony on June 6th during a court session in the case of “Berkut” in Svyatoshinsky district court of Kiev, reports the “Ukrainian News” agency.
In particular, according to him, he received one wound as a result of shots fired from behind – the bullet punched through his right lung. In addition, he received three more wounds to the hand and two in the foot.
Venchak also noted that he saw how many law enforcement officers had pump-action shotguns and fired them towards the sky.
As the witness reported, after he received wounds he recovered already in the building of the “Ukraine” hotel, in which there was the main medical aid station of protesters.
“I received the first wound in the back. But not from the side of the government quarter, where there was such an obvious threat … but from the side of the ‘Ukraine’ hotel,” stated the witness. “I approached a group of Maidan protesters who were in advanced positions. And we saw how operators stood in the windows and on the balconies of the ‘Ukraine’ hotel, they were several, the windows were open in which there were some people, and we felt that fire was being opened in the back from that side. Even on video we saw the places of bullets ricochets that could only have come from the side of the ‘Ukraine’ hotel.”
Besides the shots fired from “Ukraine” hotel that Venchak mentioned in his testimony, he also reported to the court that he saw armed people on the roof of the Conservatory, having noted that he perceived them as security officers, because according to him civilians had no right to carry arms. “I for some reason consider it to be like that, so who could be with weapons?” noted Venchak.
The witness also mentioned that shortly before the executions, when he was on Maidan he saw how five or six Berkut officers detained by activists were brought to a crowd of people. According to him, at this moment he considered that law enforcement officers didn’t want a standoff.
“Before taking out the wounded, so to say, 5-6 employees of ‘Berkut’ were brought on Maidan. I saw that people were completely demoralized. It seems to me that if it lasted for one more day, the tragedy that happened on the 20th could not have happened. Those security officers were so bothered by everything that I think that they were ready to throw down everything and go home,” said the witness Venchak, sharing his impressions.
According to the western media, on February 20th, 2014, on the day of the execution of protesters, and also the murders of law enforcement officers, the building of the Conservatory and the “Ukraine” hotel were controlled by fighters of the Maidan self-defense force.
As a reminder, earlier the mayor of Dnepropetrovsk Boris Filatov in his message on the appointment of the former head of Dnepropetrovsk “Berkut” Andrey Tkachenko to the post of the head of city police stated that the latter, during the days of Maidan, controlled law enforcement officers and “stopped something irreparable when from the Conservatory a sniper began to shoot at Dnepropetrovsk ‘Berkut’ and wounded six people”.
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