An intercepted phone call between two top-level European officials has raised this question: Was the “opposition” responsible for shooting about 100 protesters and police in Kiev during the week of Feb. 18, just before it took over Ukraine’s government with a coup?
The first bloody skirmish, on Feb. 18, killed eight protesters and seven police. This ratio is surprising unless the protesters were armed as heavily as the police.
The phone call was between European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Urmas Paet, Estonia’s foreign affairs minister, on Feb. 26. Paet had just visited Kiev. These two pro-West officials would not lightly speak against imperialist interests.
Referring to a Ukrainian doctor whom he interviewed, Paet told Ashton he worried that the new, pro-West regime in Kiev would be discovered as being behind the killings: “[Olga] can say that 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. There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet told Ashton. (Guardian, March 6)
She replied: “I think we do want to investigate. … I didn’t pick that up. That’s interesting. Gosh.”
“And second,” Paet continued, “what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that 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.”
Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah … that’s, that’s terrible.”
“So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet says.
He later denied he blamed the new regime, but on the call his attitude was concern that the people would not trust the new regime as many of its members “had a dirty past.”
The file containing the recorded phone conversation was reportedly uploaded to the Web by officers of the Security Service of Ukraine.
There has been some speculation that the neo-Nazi Right Sector, which now form part of the new regime’s police and army, provided the snipers. Currently these fascist elements have been attacking the headquarters of left-wing groups and anyone who raises opposition to the new regime.
Dr. Olga Bogomolets, who is mentioned in the call, was responsible for the Maidan mobile clinic when people began to be killed in Kiev. Because so many of the wounds were to the heads, necks and hearts of those shot, she deduced that snipers had targeted them. In her interviews since the Paet-Ashton call was released, Bogomolets has denied that she blamed the new regime — for the deaths.
But one can clearly imagine that it would be dangerous to blame the coup regime for the deaths. Bogomolets still raises questions, however, in comments below, quoted in a letter from the legal firm Brimstone and Company to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
“I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms.”
“Our nation has to ask the question who was the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine. We need good answers on the basis of expertise.”