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    Maidan square in Kiev, Ukraine, Feb 19, 2014

    Yanukovych: I Couldn't Order Use of Weapons in Dispersing 2014 Protests

    © RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin
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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)
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    Ukraine's ex-President Viktor Yanukovych said Monday he did not order the use of weapons to disperse protesters from central Kiev in early 2014.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych testifies in the case on the 2014 Maidan uprising after the initial hearings were put off by the court.

    Last Friday, a Kiev court postponed until the next week the questioning of former special operations forces on the suspected killings of demonstrators after protesters reportedly blocked the convoy with officers from leaving the prison.

    The five special police officers are accused of killing at least 100 demonstrators and injuring some 600. He is living in exile in Russia. A Rostov court organized a video linkup with Kiev.

    "From the beginning to the very end, I was against the use of weapons and against bloodshed. It was my principal position," Yanukovych said during questioning over the deadly events. "That is why I could not have given these orders."

    In 2013-2014, Maidan witnessed months of the pro-European protests sparked by then President Viktor Yanukovych's announcement to reject the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement over unfavorable terms.

    In February 2014, violent clashes with law enforcement officials broke out in the square, claiming the lives of some 100 civilians. The current Ukrainian authorities blame Yanukovych and the Berkut special forces for the deaths on Maidan.

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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)

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    court, demonstrations, Ukrainian crisis, Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine, Maidan
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