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Russia: Yanukovych denies giving orders to shoot Maidan protesters01:29

Russia: Yanukovych denies giving orders to shoot Maidan protesters

Russian Federation, Rostov-on-Don
November 28, 2016 at 14:22 GMT +00:00 · Published

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych denied giving orders to law enforcers to use firearms against protesters; the former Ukrainian leader was speaking via video link from Rostov-on-Don, Monday. The transmission of his statement was being received at Kiev's Svyatoshinski district court which was conducting a trial into shootings that occurred during the Maidan protests.

"From the very beginning till the very end, I opposed the bloodshed and the use of fire arms," stated the former Ukrainian leader, before adding "This was my principal stance. Hence, I could not give such orders [to law enforcers to use fire arms against protesters]."

During the hearing, Yanukovych said that he "insisted on a peaceful settlement all the way," noting that he is "convinced that people who stood on Maidan were not guilty. Radicals and those who manipulated them are to blame. I am convinced that they are the ones who triggered the bloodshed [in Ukraine]."

Due to protests five accused former members of the now-disbanded Ukrainian Berkut special police force were unable to be brought before the court. The former Berkut members charged are Pavel Abroskin, Sergey Zinchenko, Aleksandr Marinchenko, Sergey Tamtura, and Oleg Janishevskiy.

The trial is based on charges that the five men were involved in the deaths of protesters taking part in the mass demonstrations in and around the Ukrainian capital's Maidan square. Following the resulting unrest and violence, Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014.

Russia: Yanukovych denies giving orders to shoot Maidan protesters01:29
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Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych denied giving orders to law enforcers to use firearms against protesters; the former Ukrainian leader was speaking via video link from Rostov-on-Don, Monday. The transmission of his statement was being received at Kiev's Svyatoshinski district court which was conducting a trial into shootings that occurred during the Maidan protests.

"From the very beginning till the very end, I opposed the bloodshed and the use of fire arms," stated the former Ukrainian leader, before adding "This was my principal stance. Hence, I could not give such orders [to law enforcers to use fire arms against protesters]."

During the hearing, Yanukovych said that he "insisted on a peaceful settlement all the way," noting that he is "convinced that people who stood on Maidan were not guilty. Radicals and those who manipulated them are to blame. I am convinced that they are the ones who triggered the bloodshed [in Ukraine]."

Due to protests five accused former members of the now-disbanded Ukrainian Berkut special police force were unable to be brought before the court. The former Berkut members charged are Pavel Abroskin, Sergey Zinchenko, Aleksandr Marinchenko, Sergey Tamtura, and Oleg Janishevskiy.

The trial is based on charges that the five men were involved in the deaths of protesters taking part in the mass demonstrations in and around the Ukrainian capital's Maidan square. Following the resulting unrest and violence, Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014.

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