Ukraine protesters killed under Yanukovich's 'direct leadership'

Earlier, a spokesman for the general prosecutor said 12 members of the disbanded 'Berkut' force had been detained on suspicion of shooting peaceful participants in the protests.

hidden April 03, 2014 17:19:11 IST
Ukraine protesters killed under Yanukovich's 'direct leadership'

Kiev: The killing of anti-government protesters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev in February took place "under the direct leadership" of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, security chiefs said on Thursday.

The charges were made during a news conference by the prosecutor general and heads of the interior ministry and state security service at which they blamed the shooting deaths of more than 100 people on the Berkut riot police.

Ukraine protesters killed under Yanukovichs direct leadership

Protestors clash with riot police in Kiev in days leading to ousting of Yanukovych in this file photo. AP

Moscow-backed Yanukovich fled Kiev on 21 February, the day after the worst of the killings by sniper fire, and was ousted by parliament on 22 February.

"The former government of the country gave criminal orders and a huge number of people suffered in the 'mincer'," said Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

Unidentified Russians were at the headquarters of Ukraine's security service during the protests, which lasted three months, the head of the state security service (SBU) Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said.

On 20 February, one of the bloodiest days in Ukraine's post-Soviet history, planes loaded with 5,100 kilograms of Russia-made explosives and other materials landed at an aerodrome near Kiev from the Russian city of Chkalovsk, he said.

He gave no details of what the explosives might have been earmarked for.

Earlier, a spokesman for the general prosecutor said 12 members of the disbanded 'Berkut' force had been detained on suspicion of shooting peaceful participants in the protests.

Reuters

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