A “third force” was involved in the conflict between the protesters and police which resulted in almost 100 deaths, says Acting Minister of Internal Affairs Arseniy Avakov.

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“Two weeks ago bullets were flying in Kyiv, in the very center,” he said. “A very serious investigation is underway. I think the time will come when we release the facts: who was shooting whom and on whose command. Fact are now being pieced together. I can just say one thing: the key factor in the confrontation which resulted in the bloody slaughter in Kyiv, turned the battlefield upside down and induced a state of shock was a third force. This force was not Ukrainian. We must understand this very clearly,” he said.

“This is not a question of political opposition. The core issue is human values and our sense of what has happened. It is unacceptable when outside forces presume to control us,” he added. Avakov urged the Kharkiv Oblast not to become the “epicenter of warfare.”

As previously reported, renewed confrontations between protesters and police took place on February 18, in the center of Kyiv. Early on February 20, snipers positioned on the rooftops of neighboring buildings opened fire on the protesters in Maidan. According to data released by the Ministry of Health, 82 people died during the confrontation. (Since November 30, a total of 98 activists died). Since February 18, 876 individuals have sought medical care, and 588 of those were hospitalized.

Translated by Anna Mostovych, edited by Mariana Budjeryn

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