Referencing the piece run here at Fort Russ on 27 October “Confessions of Maidan Snipers” by Darrol, here is the original confessions given to Italian journalist Gian Micalessin which transcript should closely match the testimony provided in the Belarus’ courtroom, noted in the 27 October piece:
(With English subtitles) Italian investigative journalist Gian Micalessin interviews three snipers who shot the people in Maidan square. They were Georgians sent to Ukraine by security services people aligned with American allied-educated Mikhail Saakashvili. American mercenary Brian Christopher Boyenger ran the sniper operation on location. Expanded translation of the Italian (the video subtitles are abridged) below the video
transcript of parts one and two:
What the hell? Who is shooting? Somebody got shot! I can’t believe it happened right here! A man standing right next to me just got shot!
It was at dawn, I heard sounds of gunshots as bullets were flying. Somebody got shot in the head by a sniper.
We were ordered to shoot at the police and protestors randomly.
Which location were the shots fired [from]? From the Ukraine Hotel?
The shooting was from the Ukraine Hotel.
Kyiv, February 2014. It is three months the Maidan square, in the heart of the capital, has been filled with protestors; who’ve been demanding the government and president, Victor Yanukovych, to sign an association agreement with the European Union.
On February 18th the clashes have become bloody, with about 30 casualties. The worst moment will be in the morning of February 20th. A group of unknown snipers began firing at protestors and police. In a short period of time up to 80 dead were counted.
The next day [February 21st, president] Yanukovych leaves the country. On February 22nd the opposition seizes power.
But who was shooting at the crowd and opposition?
To this very day, the official version from Kiev is the slaughter was conducted by the order of the Kremlin-backed [Yanukovych] government. This version seemed suspicious to many. The Foreign Minister of Estonia, Ermas Paet, was the first one to dispute this.
Returning from a trip to Kiev only 5 days after the massacre, [Paet] reported in a phone call to EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, revelations from a Ukrainian doctor who examined the cadavers of Maidan square. The intercepted phone call, published widely by the Russian media, is disconcerting.
“The most disturbing thing [Paet explains] is that all of the evidence points to the people killed by snipers, both police and people in the street, were killed by the same snipers.”
Speaking with a clearly embarrassed Ashton, the foreign minister cites the testimony of the Ukrainian doctor:
“She speaks as a doctor, and says it is the same signature, the same kind of bullets. It is really disturbing that now the new coalition [Paet reaffirms] refuses to investigate what is really going on. There is a very strong conviction that they’re are behind the snipers … That it is not Yanukovych, but some of the new coalition…”
After four years from the beginning at November 2013 of Maidan demonstrations, we are able to tell another truth, completely different from the official story. Our story begins towards the end of summer 2017, in Skopye, the capital of Macedonia. There, after long and complex negotiations, we met with Koba Nergadze and Kvarateskelia Zalogy, two Georgian participants and witnesses in the tragic shootings and massacre.
Both Nergadze and Zalogy are linked to former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili , who started, in August 2008, a short but bloody war with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Nergadze, as proved by an identification card he holds, was a member of a security service at President Saakashvili’s order. Zalogy is a former Saakashvili party activist.
“I decided to come to Skopije to tell you everything we know, about what happened … and I and my friend have decided together, we need to shed some light on those facts,” Nergadze says.
Nargadze also says Alexander Revazishvilli, [we met] a few months later, a former sniper of the Georgian army, participated in the Maidan shootout. [We] met in another Eastern European country.
All three of our participants say that they were recruited at the end of 2013 by Mamuka Mamulashvili, a Saakashvili military advisor who, after the Maidan action, will move to the Donbass, to lead the so-called Georgian Legion in clashes with ethnic Russian insurgents.
“The first meeting was with Mamulashvili [was] at the office of the National Movement,” Zalogy said. “The Ukrainian uprising in 2013 was similar to the” Pink Revolution “that took place in Georgia years before. We had to direct and guide it using the same pattern used for the “Pink Revolution”
Alexander’s version is no different. “Mamuka first asked me if I was really a trained sniper, Alexander recalls, [then] he immediately told me he needed me in Kiev to pick some places.”
Our informants integrated to various groups of volunteers between November 2013 and January 2014, [after] receiving passports with false names, and money advances.
“We left on January 15, and on the plane, Zalogy remembers, I received my passport and another [passport] with my photo but with different name and surname. Then they gave us each a thousand dollars to begin, promising to give another five thousand more“
Once in Kiev, our three participants begin to understand better why they were recruited. “Our task, Alexander explains, was to arrange provocations to push the police to charge the crowd. Until the middle of February, however, there were not many weapons around. The Molotovs, the shields and the sticks were used to the maximum.”
But in mid-February, clashes around Maidan begin to get worse. “About 15 and 16 February,” Nergadze remembers, “the situation has begun to become more serious every day. It was out of control now. And in the meantime, the first shoots were heard. “With the rising of tensions, new players [would] come into play”
“One day around February 15, remembers Alexander, Mamualashvili personally visited our tent. There was another guy in his uniform with him. He introduced him and told us he was an instructor, an American soldier.” The US military veteran Brian Christopher Boyenger, is a former officer and sniper for the 101st Airborne Division. After Maidan, [Boyenger] moves on to the Donbass front, where he will fight in the ranks of the Georgian Legion alongside Mamulashvili.
“We were always in touch with this Bryan, Nergadze explains, he was a Mamulashvili man. It was he who gave us the orders. I had to follow all his instructions“
The first suspects in the possession of firearms among the ranks of demonstrators, involve Serghey Pashinsky, a leader of Maidan Square, who became, after the fall of Yanukovych, chairman of the Kiev parliament.
On February 18, in a video made that day, a rifle locked in a car was recorded with video taken by a demonstrator, showing an automatic rifle. A few seconds after, Pashinsky approaches and orders the car be allowed to go. The next day, weapons were distributed to groups of Georgian and Lithuanian mercenaries residing in Hotel Ukraine, the hotel overlooking the square used as a headquarters by opposition.
“In those days, Pashinsky and three other people, including Parasyuk, had taken the weapons handbags to the hotel. They were going to get them into my room,” Nergadze says.
Volodymyr Parasyuk is one of the leaders of the Maidan Square protest. After the massacre of demonstrators, he will become famous for an ultimatum in which he will threaten to use weapons to hunt President Viktor Yanukovych.
“On February 18, recalls Zalogy, someone took some weapons to my room. In the room with me there were two Lithuanians, the weapons were unpacked by them.”
“In each bag, recalls Nergadze, there were Makarov’s pistols, Akm automatics, carbines. And there were packages of cartridges. When I first saw them I did not understand …. When Mamulashvili arrived, I also asked him. “What’s going on,” I told him, “what are these weapons? Is everything all right?
“Koba, things are getting complicated, we have to start shooting,” he replied, “we can not go to the pre-election presidential elections …” “But who should we shoot? And where? “I asked him.” He replied that where he did not care, we had to shoot somewhere … to sow some chaos.“
“While Nergadze and Zalogy assisted in arms distribution at the hotel, Alexander Revazishvilli and other volunteers went to the Conservatory, another building overlooking the square. “It was February 16th … Pashinsky ordered us to collect our belongings and bring them in … Other people arrived, they were almost all masked.
“From their cases I understood … they carried weapons …. They pulled them out and handed them over to the various groups. Only Pashinsky was talking … “He was giving orders. He asked me where we were supposed to shoot. ” “In the meantime, explained Nergadze, even at the Ukraine hotel, the leaders of the revolt underlined the purpose of using the weapons.
“They explained to us to shoot to create chaos and confusion. We did not have to stop. It did not matter if we fired at a tree, a barricade, or a molotov. The important thing was to sow chaos. ”
On the 20th, in the morning, the plan came into action. “It was supposed to be dawn,” Zalogy remembers, “when I heard the sound of the shots … they were not bursts, they were single strokes … came from the next room. At that same time, the Lithuanians opened the window. One of them fired one shot while the other closed the window. They have fired three or four times everywhere.”
Alexander, admitting he was involved in the shootout from the Conservatory building, claims to have understood very little. “Everyone started shooting two or three shots at a time. We did not have much choice. We were ordered to shoot both the Berkut, the police, and the demonstrators, no matter what. I was totally outraged. It went on for fifteen minutes … maybe twenty. I was out of my mind, agitated, under stress, I did not understand anything. Then suddenly, after 15, 20 minutes the shooting ceased and everyone has put down the weapons. ”
As wounded and dead arrived in the Ukrainian Hotel’s reception, the snipers fled from the rooms. And so the victims found themselves next to their assassins.
“Inside, recalls Nergadze, “there was chaos, you did not understand who was who. People ran back and forth. Someone was hurt … someone was armed. Outside was even worse. There were so many injured in the streets. And the many dead.”
Alexander says he left in a hurry. “Someone was shouting that there were snipers, I knew what they were talking about,” he said, “my only thought was to disappear before they knew about me. Otherwise, they had me. At that time, however, I did not realize, but now I understand. I do understand. We’ve been used. Used and discarded.”