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.