During the month of February this year, marking the second anniversary of Maidan, the truth is starting to leak out. And it challenges the image of the coup as being a “revolution of dignity” conducted by peaceful protestors outraged by government corruption, united in a valiant struggle for a better European future in the face of a brutal police response, culminating in the deadly shooting of 100 protestors commemorated as the Heavenly Hundred.
That was a picture projected to the whole world, mesmerizing it for months. Whatever evidence was given by the opponents of Maidan, pointing to the aggression and violence of protestors against anyone who opposed them, including burning and torturing policemen, was ignored. Law-enforcement authorities were condemned as guilty of starting the massacre before there was any investigation. The investigation itself, launched under pressure from the West, has lasted two years and has failed to come across any evidence that favors police authorities.
But in what may seem like an ironic twist of fate, the original supporters and active participants of Maidan have been letting the cat out of the bag in spite of Kiev’s best efforts to hide the truth of what happened on Maidan. On the eve of the second anniversary of the massacre in the capital of Ukraine, the Bird In Flight portal published on 19 February 2016 an interview with Ivan Bubenchik who admitted without remorse to being one of the snipers who killed police officers during Maidan, helping escalate the confrontation to a deadly level.
The Maidan radicals’ intention to overthrow the legitimate authorities at any cost is also evidenced by Alexander Skubchenko, a Kiev businessman whose office was situated on the third floor of the Trade Union House in which the “revolutionaries” placed their headquarters. Every day he saw through his windows radicals on Maidan being trained to storm, using bats and chains, the barriers of policemen. He heard all those Russophobic slogans which sounded from the stage and were the core of Maidan. He realized why the radicals wore balaclavas outside the building: many of them were swarthy guys who didn’t even speak Ukrainian or Russian. He witnessed a coup d’etat being committed with the support of the minority and the unconstitutional violence in the center of the capital of his country.
The failure of the first ceasefire
Things only got worse from there, with the country subsequently plunged into civil war. Further truth emerged against the backdrop of Kiev’s constant accusations of the DPR and LPR violating the Minsk Agreement in an interview given by General Yuriy Dumansky to the “Cauldron of lies” project of the Strana internet news site.
General Yuriy Dumansky was a representative of Ukraine who signed the first Minsk Agreement on 5 September 2014. The document obliged both sides of the conflict to cease fire in Donbass and make some mutual territorial concessions.
According to Dumansky, the DPR and LPR fulfilled their part of the Minsk Agreement, the situation on the contact line stabilized, and the intensity of shelling significantly decreased.
However, in the middle of November, strange things happened. First, the OSCE mission withdrew its representative who was a member of the Contact Group and signed the plan of measures on resolving the conflict. Then a representative of the Presidential Administration came to the Ukrainian representatives in the Contact Group with an inspection.
Dumansky says that Poroshenko’s representative was very surprised to find out that the plan of measures on resolving the conflict had been signed. After Dumansky’s statement that the “separatists” were willing to negotiate, he left. A few days after the inspection, Dumansky received an order to withdraw his signature under the plan and return to Kiev.
“In January a big war started again in Donbass. In February there was the Debaltsevo pocket,” says the general.
The battle at Debaltsevo is one of the most tragic events of the civil war in Ukraine. According to the militia, they surrounded eight to ten thousand Ukrainian troops. This is the only available information because Kiev classified all data about the number of personnel and military equipment trapped in the pocket.
Kiev would not admit that its troops were surrounded and on the verge of a crushing defeat until the very end. On 11 February 2015, when the DPR and LPR reported that they had blocked the last road connecting the surrounded troops and the rear, the Defense Minister of Ukraine, Stepan Poltorak, informed Ukrainian journalists that there was no pocket at Debaltsevo, that the units in the town received weapons and ammunition and that the commanding officer had a stable connection and interaction with them.
On 15 February the Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, officially appealed to the surrounded troops and proposed to them “green corridors” out of the pocket on the condition that they leave their weapons and equipment behind. According to captured Ukrainian soldiers, the proposal never reached them. They were not even aware that they were surrounded. Many officers were the first to flee, and the commanding officer kept promising them reinforcements that were never to come. In panic they tried to break out of the pocket using byroads and all available vehicles. The militia considered this a violation of its conditions, and opened fire.
Then on 18 February, President Poroshenko suddenly announced the completion of ‘the planned, orderly withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Debaltsevo’. According to him, about 2,500 soldiers, or 80% of the personnel, had left the town with their weapons and almost 200 units of equipment, with casualties limited to six men killed and more than 100 wounded. Later the Ukrainian Defense Ministry officially announced the number of casualties during the whole Debaltsevo battle as being 136 killed and 331 wounded.
In August 2015 in an interview with the weekly Novoye Vremya (The New Time), the Chief of Staff, Viktor Muzhenko, said, ‘I personally believe that it was one of the most successful Ukrainian Army operations’.
When on 19 February the DPR Army made it public that in the battle at Debaltsevo the Ukrainian side had lost more than 3,000 men, Kiev called it propaganda.
When Ukrainian survivors wrote in social networks that ‘in one hospital in Artyomovsk alone there were more than 170 wounded and the dead were left in the street because morgues couldn’t take any more of them’, and volunteers quoted messages received from the pocket stating, ‘We’re running out of food, we’re running out of water, people are fighting for a place in a basement’, it was called by President Poroshenko ‘fabrications made outside Ukraine’.
And yet a year later on 19 February 19 2016, Yury Biryukov, a former adviser of the Ukrainian leader, wrote on his Facebook page that when the battle started, he had received a direct order from the President ‘to bring confusion and lie, lie and lie’.
‘A year has passed, so I can speak about it. I was called to Bankovaya Street (street where the Presidential Administration is based) at about 4pm. The President voiced a request, somewhat unusual…
We were to get the enemy confused for two days. At night we were to start a “All-good-we-stand” wave in Facebook and keep it going for at least two days. At any cost to reputation. We were just to straightforwardly lie and lie and lie.’
Buryukov added that the Defense Ministry coordinated all stages of information bursts and picked up suitable photographs. The official was also to persuade his friends, bloggers, to support the action.
The former adviser of the Ukrainian president does not say a word about responsibility for thousands of dead Ukrainians. He just complains that the action failed because the truth about what was going on in the pocket leaked into Facebook.