Disinfo: Civilian killings during Euromaidan were orchestrated by opposition leaders


Neither then-president Viktor Yanukovych nor Ukrainian law enforcement commanded or participated in civilian killings during the Euromaidan protests. In fact, a number of witnesses said that these killings were orchestrated by Euromaidan’s leaders: Parubiy, Pashynskyi, and Turchynov.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan protests.

According to a 2015 report by the Council of Europe, “Berkut” special forces (subordinated under the Ministry of Internal Affairs) were responsible for the majority of deaths during Euromaidan. The New York Times also established that “Berkut” forces were behind the killings that took place on February 18-21.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has furthermore stated that a connection was established between the killings and then-President Yanukovych and then-Minister for Internal Affairs, Vitaliy Zakharchenko. Both fled to Russia. “After we finish investigations, we will show evidence that Yanukovych, Zakharchenko, Yakymenko, Shuliak, respectively the president, the heads of the Internal Affairs Ministry, Security Services and Internal Forces of Ukraine gave the orders to kill more than a hundred people,” the Prosecutor General stated in an interview in January 2019.

Investigations have also established that Mykhail Zhiznevsky was shot with a type of ammunition used only by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.


  • Reported in: Issue 137
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Berkut, Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, Oleksandr Turchynov, Euromaidan, Viktor Yanukovych


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Pompeo warns EU allies that they will “face consequences” for using Huawei products

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned European allies that if they continue using any equipment manufactured by Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant accused of fraud and espionage, they will face negative consequences from the United States.

Speaking at official meetings in Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, Pompeo “made known the risks” facing European governments that fail to follow Washington’s advice.

Pompeo’s warning appears to have paid off. French telecom company Orange has announced it will no longer procure Huawei equipment to develop France’s first 5G network.


The report cherry-picks quotes from Mike Pompeo's remarks during his Eastern Europe trip on February 11th-12th 2019, serving the common pro-Kremlin narrative that the US exerts excessive influence on Europe's regional and domestic politics (see previous disinformation cases about Washington's iron grip on Germany's security policy, the UK central bank, and the European Parliament).

In his remarks, Pompeo never uses the word "consequences" in relation to EU countries' continued use of Huawei products. In each of his three speeches, Pompeo only cites "risks" potentially faced by private citizens, and moreover never implies a cooling of relations between EU Member States and the US. He merely acknowledges that the US will not place its equipment anywhere that might involve a security risk from the proximity of Chinese technology. See Pompeo's speech in Hungary on February 11th 2019 and his speeches in Poland and Slovakia on February 12th 2019.

Russia did its utmost to save the INF treaty

Russia did its utmost to save the INF Treaty. Russia was completely open with its US counterparts and showed what is was doing, but did not receive any response.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its noncompliance in several areas.

The US government issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US noncompliance with INF (see previous euvsdisinfo cases).

The West is a terrorist structure

The West – not only the United States or NATO – the whole West is a terrorist structure. They are killing people and  perceive Russian as the Germans perceived the Jews during the Second World War.    


No evidence given.

Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about belligerent West and Russpohobia.