20 Feb 2014 I was in Kiev. The beginning of the events did not catch: like many, I was deceived declared the evening a truce and appeared on the Maidan only in the beginning of the ninth morning, when people have been shot in full. I was told that “Berkut” opened fire with machine guns at the October Palace. A little later I saw about ten bodies of activists lying on the ground near the main post office. At this time the bulk of the dead and wounded were demolished with College street in the hotel “Ukraine” in the lobby which was deployed to the hospital and was under the control of protesters. All entrances to the hotel were heavily guarded by Maidan self-defense, she was in the ring of barricades and actually blocked. I was able to get inside only on February 22, after meticulously checking documents. When I was at the hotel, they were raided by the protesters in search of snipers: floor by floor, room by room. No one, of course not, but it is noteworthy that already at that time there were rumors that snipers shot from the “Ukraine”. This same idea suggests, and the location of bodies on the Instytutska street.
I personally saw armed supporters of the Maidan on February 21 at the square near St. Michael’s Cathedral. A group of armed and civil armed policemen were brought from the Western Ukraine, the current Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko. I photographed these people, and civil confirmed to me on tape, armed with a hunting weapon. Lutsenko also told me in an interview that the police came with the standard weapons, and civil — with his personal, to which they have permissions. It was only one group chat which I managed personally. The fact that the weapons on the Maidan was also recorded numerous photos and videos.
Therefore, doubts about the official version appeared in the first days after the tragedy. At first thought that it could be a “Pro” from NATO countries. But in April 2014, the General of the Georgian army, former commander of the battalion “Panther” Tristan, Tsitelashvili has made a sensational confession: he was aware of the identities of four snipers who took part in the shooting of people on Maidan. “These people — former employees of the controlled Saakashvili’s power structures, — has told then the General. — The previous government trained them for such matters”.
After that the trail “Georgian snipers” for a long time lost. And in just three and a half years by the Italian journalist Gian Michalisin finds two of them in the capital of Macedonia Skopje. Koba, Nergadze, Liens cousin and their friend Alexander Revazishvili, whose whereabouts the journalist decided not to disclose, become heroes of a documentary film “Ukraine. The hidden truth”, in November last year shown on Italian 5-th channel. It was a real bomb: the Georgians told how he was recruited in Tbilisi people from the inner circle of Saakashvili. They were sent to Kiev on the Maidan, promising as a fee for “trip” for 6 thousand dollars. Initially they said that they will protect the protesters from the “Berkut”. However, as development objectives has varied. On 20 February they, like other mercenaries, among whom were people of different nationalities, were given arms and ammunition and ordered to shoot at the same time the employees of “Berkut” and protesters. They argue that the order is not complied with, but seen a guy shoot others.
In Kiev, now the trial of five former “berkutova”: Pavel Abroskin and Sergey Zinchenko, Oleksandr marinchenko, Sergei and Oleg Tuturau Janiszewski. According to prosecutors, they are guilty of killing 48 people. Lawyer Alexander Gorodinsky this process protects the interests of Pavel Abroskin and Alexander marinchenko. In December 2017, he met with “Georgian snipers” and conducted their survey. Koba, Nergadze and Alexander Revazishvili, has officially declared its readiness to give video testimony in the Svyatoshinsky court of Kiev, where listen “case of the ex-Berkut officers”.
Alexander Gorodinsky agreed to answer the questions of “MK”.
— At what stage is the trial of former employees of “Berkut”?
— Now we interrogate victims and study materials for each of them. We have in the case involving more than 150 victims: relatives of the victims and activists who were wounded that day on the Maidan. Each must be called to question.
— You conducted a survey of new witnesses — participants of the events who came to independence from Georgia. How do you know about them?
— First Italian film. After the release of the film on the TV News One was made by Ukrainian politician Vadim Rabinovich. He said that information about the shootings on the Maidan has a Georgian General Tristan, Tsitelashvili. I went to Rabinovich with your request. He did not answer me. I turned to an Italian journalist. He told me also did not answer. My colleague started to work in order to access this information, and we succeeded.
— In the Italian film featured three people. You all three can talk?
We spoke with two witnesses — in the afternoon, Nergadze and Alexander Revazishvili, and also with the General Tsitelashvili. We interviewed witnesses together with my colleague attorney Stefan Reshko. It was at the end of 2017. We have met twice.
— You recorded the conversation on video?
We were talking under the Protocol, and some scenes were shot on video, then that was not talking about some fake. We have documented the fact that there are witnesses that they are willing to testify in court via videoconference that they put their signatures on the protocols. It was enough for me to make an application to the court. And then the procedure goes by itself, I could not participate.
— What was the reaction of the court?
The court granted our motion and made an appeal in the procedure of international legal assistance in the country where they are to be questioned. Now this request is at the stage of execution in the Ministry of justice of Ukraine. It is, wait until it will send.
After this they will be able to testify in court?
— What is the essence of their testimony?
— In short, they reported that, on 20 February 2014 they were on the Maidan. One of them was in the Conservatory, the second in the hotel “Ukraine”. They were witnesses of how citizens of Georgia, the Baltic States and Ukraine fired from a rifle in the direction of the security forces and the protesters. More details I have to comment on their testimony would not, as they did not speak in court.
— First of all doubt the fact that the people who took part in this, willingly admit it, act without masks, their names.
— They claim that they themselves did not shoot, but just were eyewitnesses of the events. They are ready to tell in court under oath.
— Why they waited so long, and started speaking just now?
Because began to disappear under mysterious circumstances, their companions on this trip. So they decided to keep myself safe.
— They called the names of those people who disappeared?
— Yes, of course.
— You associate the recent deportation of Saakashvili with this case?
— Directly connect. We have reason to suspect that his deportation was linked to this question. Because February 13 at our court hearing was scheduled interrogation of Saakashvili. And he was deported to Poland just before. I assume that the court publicly under oath he could tell something that discreditied current heads of state.
But according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office he has not confirmed the version of the “Georgian snipers”.
— First, about what he said, we know only from the words of the Prosecutor’s office. Second, the Prosecutor’s office is not the best place to talk about the facts, compromising the country’s leadership. And publicly, under oath, on the record and Protocol is different. Think he could provide some information.
— Have you established their personalities, did you check the veracity of what they say about themselves?
— Their identity is established, on the whole consistent with what they say about themselves. There is evidence that they really were in the territory of Ukraine within a specified time. Doubt that they were in Kiev at that time and participated in the events that we have.
— According to them, Nergadze was a member of the power structure Saakashvili, and Revazishvili — a member of the NGO supporters of Saakashvili “Free zone”. If you got evidence that they are telling the truth and really had to do with these structures?
— Yes, they were related to these structures.
— Do you feel any pressure in connection with your participation in the process?
Yes. We live in a very difficult situation. The case is politically motivated with all the consequences. Threats, wiretapping is the reality in which we find ourselves. There is pressure from the media, there is a direct threat. Repeatedly we were under a force directly in the hearing. There were facts of pressure on my colleagues from the General Prosecutor’s office.
— What you could argue in favor of the innocence of your clients?
— We have absolutely proven that on the morning of 20 February to the police EN masse, the use of firearms. From 5.30 to 9 am, killing three police officers, 39 received gunshot wounds. We have a lot of photos and videos proving that the police were being fired. We have evidence that in the hotel “Ukraine” and in the Conservatory, and also in the hotel “Dnipro” there were arrows that are fired as protesters and security forces. Many protesters were injured by buckshot, hunting bullets, which proves that they were shot activists. Many victims got wounds from handguns, pistols, which are also actively used by the protesters. In addition, the prosecution to date not shown evidence that our defendants used weapons on the activists. All this together suggests that our clients are just trying to assign guilty.
Official statement Georgians will give in court, but here in brief the essence of what they had already told him. They both were part of the team of Saakashvili. Koba, Nergadze — military personnel, the employee of security service of the Ministry of defense of Georgia, which at the time, Saakashvili was called “Sonderkommando”. Its functions included carrying out military actions against the opposition. Revazishvili, also served in the army, where he specialised as a sniper and then became an activist of NGO “Free zone”. On Ukraine, both “enlisted” with the filing of Mamuka Mamulashvili, then became commander of the so-called Georgian Legion. February 20, Revazishvili was in the Conservatory, Nergadze — the hotel “Ukraine”. The Georgians claim that the gun “snipers” were given the current Verkhovna Rada Deputy Sergey Pashinskiy, Mamulashvili held briefing and a former American serviceman Christopher Brian. 20 Feb Pashinsky allegedly personally fired a machine gun. The centurion Maidan Vladimir Parasyuk, which later became the people’s Deputy of Ukraine is shooting at people from a carbine “saiga”.
The testimony of citizens of Georgia need scrutiny, but they are in good agreement with the already known facts. In particular, Andriy Shevchenko, member of Parliament and member of the Maidan, in an interview with the BBC said that at 7 am he called the commander of Dnepropetrovsk “Golden Eagle” Andrey Tkachenko. Berkut officer announced that his fighters someone shoots from the Conservatory, and there are already 11 wounded. There were also memories of some of the Lviv Ivan Bell, who claims that he personally shot at police from the Conservatory. Match these facts with the data of a canadian Professor Ivan Kachanovsky, who held the owl investigation of those events and came to the conclusion that the agreement on a cease-fire was violated exactly the protesters at 6 a.m. February 20.
Watch the video on:
“The sniper shoots at protesters on the Maidan”