Ukraine implicates elite police force in shootings

An inquiry by the interim Ukrainian government on April 2 implicated members of the special Berkut riot police in the deaths of 76 anti-government protesters in Kiev in February. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov presented initial findings before reporters indicating twelve members of the elite police force as snipers and arrested three on suspicion of shooting deaths. Avakov also identified Maj Dmytro Sadovnyk as commander of a Berkut unit suspected of the shooting death of seventeen protesters. Most of the protester shootings occured near the main protest camp on Independence Square. Ukrainian Security Service chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko has accused Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives of coordinating operations against protesters. In addition to allegations of Russian involvement in suppressing protests, a top security official for the interim government accused ousted President Viktor Yanukovych's government of hiring gangs of thugs to terrorize protesters and opposition groups.

From Jurist, April 3. Used with permission.