Ukraine Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary of Coup: Little Cause For Celebration, More Like Mourning!
Bolshie Vesti is on air, we're continuing our program.
Ukrainian diplomats in the USA demanded to stop the screening of T-34, the highest-grossing Russian film of early 2019, in American movie theaters. Over 8 million people worldwide have already seen the story of the legendary tank of WWII. It's made 2.3 billion rubles ($35 million) at the box office. It seems that the American exhibitors will also prefer to ignore the demand by the Ukrainian diplomats, at least because the latter saw signs of Russian aggression in the liberation of Europe from Nazism. It is known when the break in the Ukrainian consciousness happened.
Five years ago in Kiev, Alexander Balitskiy personally watched those who were breaking the political power system and setting up a violent coup. His report is about the aftermath.
Just like five years ago, camouflage is in fashion again but the mask has been taken off. The Verkhovna Rada is celebrating the anniversary of the coup as an anniversary of a war with Russia where every other word is Moscow, Kremlin, or Putin.
Pyotr Poroshenko: «Moscow lost the civilized battle for Ukraine».
Falling into the void is a victory for Poroshenko. They applause upon confirming the course to European Union and NATO in the constitution. Poroshenko even names the terms: by 2023. A universal delirium in sorrowful days for the country. Why does this aspiration on camera seem so false just like the made-up Maidan myths?
Pyotr Poroshenko: «Exactly five years ago, my day started with me going out to Mariinsky Park, walking towards the Verkhovna Rada. It was at 9 a.m. Near the fountains, there was a Berkut chain, armed with pump-action shotguns, shooting at the people. Three dead in an hour and a half. We tried to carry them to the Officers' Club».
Poroshenko is right in one thing: those five days irrevocably changed Ukraine. They haven't recalled the chant «This is Europe!» that everything has started with anymore. The nationalist-radicals as the vanguard. The barricades on Kreshchatik are not only about the Maidan. Clouds of acrid black smoke have covered downtown. It seems that rocks and paving stones aren't enough. The police officers have to defend themselves almost barehanded from the hail of pyrotechnics and rocks. But the Maidan leaders and their Western supervisors cynically called everything a peaceful protest, while launching hundreds of new Maidans into the battle. A hunting 12-gauge round, buckshot. They call it a peaceful action.
Dmitry Sobyna, Berkut platoon leader (2014): «I tell you, my face got burned. It happened so that a Molotov cocktail hit my body armor and the fire got under the vizor».
The platoon leader of Kharkov's Berkut was defending the government city block since day one.
Dmitry Sobyna: «They started shooting at us on February 19th, at about 10 a.m».
However, the Maidan investigation counts the victims starting on February 20th, as if there was nothing before that date. When demolitions and takeovers of the administrations and military bases happened in the western regions; the police kneeled down; the guns they took from the arms depots were directly sent to the radicals in Kiev. The Trade Union Building, tents, and police armored personnel carriers were on fire. It was three days before the coup itself. But the mysterious snipers opened fire against both sides in order to finally stir up the crowd.
Today, those who had to flee the country recall those events: former prime minister Nikolay Azarov and former minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko. Here they are, sitting at one table. Zakharchenko holds a folder with the files of his own investigation.
Vitaly Zakharchenko: «There were three groups. The first is the protestors who took a hunting gun from home and those who were armed after the takeover of the precinct and city police offices, military bases. The second group is the so-called Georgian snipers. This group stealthily went to the sniper positions and just as stealthily left, leaving the weapons. These weapons were taken away from Dnepr Hotel, Andrey Parubiy, this famous story. They were professionals, connected to private military companies».
Dozens of the direct participants of those events have unanimously, on record, said that shots were fired from Hotel Ukraine; shots were fired from the Conservatory, here it is, right on the Maidan, the barricades are close; a clear view of both Berkut and the protesters. The leaders of the revolution controlled both buildings back then. There are also many testimonies: from gunmen like Ivan Bubenchik, to the Georgian snipers, given by Saakashvili. Who gave the orders for precision «weapons free»?
Parubiy, Pashynskyi, Parasyuk: all of them will be in power. But they made the Berkut the scapegoat. It could clear the Maidan in no time but no order was given. Yanukovich would sign everything under the supervision of European ministers. Before he fled the country, he agreed to everything: both the pre-term election and the withdrawal of the force units.
Nikolay Azarov, the Prime Minister of Ukraine (2010-2014): «Their task was to not let Yanukovich use force. Yanukovich had this possibility precisely on February 20th and 21st».
And the Maidan leaders, agreeing on another truce in the presence of the Euro-emissaries, went on stage once again, calling for an assault.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former Ukrainian prime minister: «If a bullet in the head, then a bullet in the head».
And the crowd went because they believed in impunity. The government has given them amnesty twice.
Vitaliy Zakharchenko: «The same law forbids law-enforcement agencies to collect, accrue, and store any information regarding the events that happened during Maidan. They just adopted a law to destroy all traces».
In those days the radicals crossed the line, dividing everyone into «us» and «them», using the barricades. This was the harbinger of the great split in the country, the language, and the faith. Where the endless chaos does not allow the relatives of the fallen Heavenly Hundred to answer the question for themselves: is another anniversary of the Maidan a holiday or a day of mourning?
Alexander Balitskiy, Pavel Alexeev, Vesti.