Disinfo: Violent Euromaidan protesters killed 38 policemen, burned five buildings


During the Euromaidan protests, which culimnated in the overthrow of a democratically elected government, 38 police officers were killed and five buildings were burned.


Recurring disinformation narrative on Ukraine and the Euromaidan protests.

There was no coup in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

The claim attributing 38 law enforcement deaths and multiple instances of arson to protesters is made without evidence, and relies on exaggeration and omission. According to the UN Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, this oddly specific number is nearly three times overstated: 13 law enforcement officials, not 38, perished during the deadliest phase of the protests. Moreover, only one building, not five, burned down during Euromaidan. The immediate cause of the fire remains undetermined, although a Ukrainian parliamentary committee in May 2014 stated that the riot police assault which had shortly preceded the incident may have intensified the confrontation with the protesters and contributed to the fire.

Naturally, the claim wholly ignores both the casualties suffered by protesters and the wider context in which the protests turned violent, including draconian restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly imposed in January 2014. In all, 107 protesters were killed throughout Euromaidan, nine of whom had died before a single police officer was killed; four dozen were slaughtered by indiscriminate sniper fire in just one day.


  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Protest, Coup, Euromaidan


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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