Ukraine Interim Government Faces Urgent Calls to Probe Links to Maidan Gunmen
KIEV, Ukraine, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Ukraine's interim government is under pressure to hold an independent investigation into claims, made in a leaked diplomatic phone call, that snipers linked to Opposition groups shot and killed demonstrators during the recent Maidan protests.
The revelations are contained in an eleven minute phone call between European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Affairs Minister Urmas Paet that took place on February 25th.
"All the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides," Paet is heard to say in the recording that has been leaked to Youtube.
"Well, yeah...that's, that's terrible," Ashton replied.
Paet's stated source was Dr Olga Bogomolets, who is also known to Ashton. The doctor treated numerous gunshot victims at a makeshift clinic in central Kiev.
"She said that as medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don't want to investigate what exactly happened," Paet said
"So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition," he added.
In the wake of the bloodshed, Dr Bogomolets has reportedly turned down an offer of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for Humanitarian Affairs in the interim government.
Paet has in the last 24 hours confirmed the authenticity of the phone call, adding that an investigation must now take place which is both public and independent from the present interim government. Catherine Ashton's office has declined to comment, although pressure is growing for her to respond.
"Many people want an independent investigation to be carried out in Ukraine. The people responsible for the crimes committed on the Maidan Square in Kiev must be punishable by law," Paet said.
But he also made it clear he believes the Ukrainian public doesn't trust the former Opposition elements that now control Ukraine, adding that people believe they "have a dirty past".
More than 100 people are estimated to have died in the Maidan violence. Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych last week publicly denied ordering his troops to turn their weapons on his own people.
SOURCE Ukraine Monitor