by Kit Klarenberg at The Grayzone
Two police officers charged with the mass shooting of opposition protesters in Kiev’s Maidan Square in 2014 have been released after a Ukrainian court determined the fatal shots in the infamous massacre were fired from an opposition-controlled building.
On October 18 2023, Ukraine’s Sviatoshyn District Court determined that of the five officers on trial, one would be acquitted outright, while another was sentenced to time served for alleged “abuse of power.”
The remaining three, who no longer live in Ukraine, were convicted in absentia on 31 counts of murder and 44 counts of attempted murder. This, under a Supreme Court opinion stipulating suspects can be held collectively responsible for the actions of a group deemed criminal.
The verdict means no one will face jail time, or be in any way punished for their alleged role in the infamous Maidan massacre, which saw over 100 protesters killed, triggered an avalanche of international condemnation and led directly to the downfall of President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country mere days later.
The trial began in Kiev in 2016, but the case languished for years. Matters were further complicated in 2019, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traded all five of the accused for prisoners held by Donbas separatists. Two subsequently returned on a voluntary basis to have their day in court.
Unsurprisingly, the verdict has triggered outrage…Continue Reading