Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych testifies at a Moscow court on the case filed by former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Oleynik. In his lawsuit, Oleynik wanted the court to recognize the events in Ukraine in 2014 as a coup d'etat.
Oleynik asks the court to recognize the legal fact of the coup d'etat in Ukraine in February 2014 to thereby prove the illegitimacy of the current government. The court found the claim subject to consideration in Moscow and started hearings on the case on Thursday.
In February 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Parliament) removed President Viktor Yanukovych from power. The latter was forced to leave Ukraine, fearing for his life. The Parliament changed the Constitution and appointed a new presidential election thus bringing "chocolate king" Petro Poroshenko to power as President.
"The snipers, who started the bloodshed on Maidan, who were shooting protesters in Kiev, - they came to Ukraine from other countries," former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych stated at court.
"There was information that the snipers arrived in Ukraine from other countries, many snipers were wearing masks, and they were shooting from the buildings that protesters had under their control. Maidan representatives would suppress any attempts on the part of journalists or intelligence services to penetrate into those buildings," Yanukovych said. The former Ukrainian president did not specify, which countries exactly the shooters had come from.
Earlier, former CIA analyst Raymond McGovern said that it was US intelligence services that organized sniper shooting on Maidan. In turn, Reuters journalists, who studied the details of the criminal case and circumstances of those tragic days, came to conclusion that accusations against Berkut rights of killings were groundless. All the evidence, such as sniper bullet cases or fragments of trees that were damaged with bullets have disappeared from the case.
Also read: Confessions of Maidan killer
In addition, a general of the Georgian army, former commander of Avaza battalion, Tristan Tsitelashvili, said that the snipers on Maidan were members of the military group controlled by ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili. A Polish politician, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, stated once that the Maidan snipers were trained in Poland.
Analyzing the bloody events in Ukraine, BBC journalists found that it was protesters, who opened fire first, thus prompting the Ukrainian police to shoot in return. However, it still remains unknown, who killed many of the victims.
One may also recall the notorious audio recording of the conversation between an Estonian diplomat and sweet lady Catherine Ashton, in which the officials acknowledged that the Maidan snipers were not behind Yanukovych.
Former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko also said that Maidan protesters had their own weapons and ammo. According to him, Berkut fighters stopped only because of those weapons.
During the hearings, Yanukovych said that his removal from power came in violation of Article 108 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
"This decision violated Article 108 of the Constitution, which requires the following grounds to terminate the powers of the president. First, voluntary resignation. I did not send in my resignation. Second, failure to fulfill duties of President for health reasons. I was healthy and had no problems with my health. Third, removal from power as a result of impeachment. There was no such procedure conducted," the former President of Ukraine said.
Yanukovych also named those guilty of the civil war in the Donbas.
"The formerly prosperous region of Donbas is in ruins. The war and bloodshed in the region continue. The war that was unleashed by representatives of the current government is a gross violation of the Constitution, and one should be held accountable for it," he said.
Yanukovych admitted that Maidan activists attempted to kill him in February 2014. "On February 23, my motorcade was attacked on the way from Kiev to Kharkov. One of the cops told my security that they were "waiting" for us, that there were instructions given to stop the president's motorcade and shoot everyone, leaving no survivors," said the former president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary "Crimea. Way Back Home" that he helped Yanukovych escape. "I invited chiefs of our special services and the Ministry of Defence to the Kremlin and I told them to save the life of the President of Ukraine. He would have been simply destroyed otherwise," said Putin.
Earlier, Yanukovych said during interrogation that he did not order the use of weapons during Maidan riots in Kiev. The armed conflict in the country was instigated by those who stay in power in the country today. The Maidan shooting was a part of the special operation to overthrow the government of Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart