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Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders - leaked EU's Ashton phone tape

Published time: March 05, 2014 12:41
Edited time: March 06, 2014 13:03

An anti-government protester sit near the bodies of two demonstrators killed by a sniper during clashes with the police in the center of Kiev on February 20, 2014.(AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

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The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.

UPDATE: Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked call

“There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Urmas Paet said during the conversation.

“I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton answered.

The call took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25, following the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital.

Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.

“And second, 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,” the Estonian FM stressed.

Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”

“So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she 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,” Paet said.

Olga Bogomolets was the main doctor for the Maidan mobile clinic when protests turned violent in Kiev. She treated the gravely injured and helped organized their transportation to neighboring countries, who had expressed a willingness to treat those with severe wounds. From the outset, Olga blamed the injuries and deaths on snipers. She turned down the position of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for Humanitarian Affairs offered by the coup-appointed regime.

Protesters evacuate a wounded demonstrator from Independence square, dubbed Maidan, in Kiev on February 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)

The Estonian FM has described the whole sniper issue as “disturbing” and added, “it already discredits from the very beginning” the new Ukrainian power.

His overall impressions of what he saw during his one-day trip to Kiev are “sad,” Paet said during the conversation.

He stressed that the Ukrainian people don’t trust the Maidan leaders, with all the opposition politicians slated to join the new government “having dirty past.”

The file was reportedly uploaded to the web by officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to ousted President Viktor Yanukovich who hacked Paet’s and Ashton’s phones.

94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the standoff between police and protesters at Maidan Saquare in Kiev last month.

Policemen carry a colleague wounded during clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev on February 18, 2014. (AFP Photo / Yury Kirnichny)

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