There is no doubt there were mercenaries at Maidan, the former head of Ukraine’s security service, Aleksandr Yakimenko, says.
The violence on Maidan which caused almost 100 deaths was organized by some opposition leaders who poured Western money and resources into the coup, Yakimenko told the Russia-1 TV channel. Now Major General Alexander Yakimenko is in the top five of Maidan’s hit list. He made it to that list while he was still in his office in Kiev.
Q: How did you manage to escape?
Aleksandr Yakimenko: I am a Security Service officer.
Q: Where did those snipers come from?
AY: First shots were fired from the Philharmonic building. Maidan Commandant Parubiy was in charge of the building. On February 20, this building was used as a base by the snipers and people with automatic weapons. They basically covered those who were attacking the demoralized policemen running in panic, hunted down like animals. They were followed by armed people with different kinds of weapons. At that point, somebody opened fire at those who attacked the police, and some of them were killed. All this fire was coming from the Philharmonic building. After this first round of fire, about 20 people came out of this building – this was witnessed by many. These people wore special combat clothes and carried sniper rifle cases, as well as AKMs with scopes. There were witnesses, and not just our operatives, but also Maidan activists from Svoboda, Right Sector, Batkivshchyna, and UDAR.
The snipers split into two groups – 10 men each. The Security Service lost track of one of the groups. The other group took a position at the Ukraine hotel. Killings continued. In the beginning, when the shots were scattered, I was asked by Right Sector and Svoboda to mobilize a Special Forces unit and remove the snipers from the buildings.
Q: They asked you?
AY: Yes, Right Sector and Svoboda. I was ready to do that, but I needed Parubiy’s [he is now now the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine in the Turchinov-Yatsenyuk government] permission to enter Maidan. Otherwise our officers would’ve been attacked by the self-defense forces in the back. Parubiy didn’t give such permission. No weapons could be brought to Maidan without Parubiy’s permission. Hand guns, rifles, scopes – he had to agree to all of that. We had some intel about discharged Ukrainian army special forces participating in those activities. Some reports claimed that these were fighters from former Yugoslavia, as well as mercenaries from other countries.
Q: So you think they were mercenaries?
AY: No doubt. Parubiy removed himself from the picture. This affected the events of the last week. He joined Poroshenko. Gvozd, Malamuzh, and Gritsenko. These forces did what they were told by their bosses – the US. They basically lived in the embassy. They were there every day.
Q: Is it true that Nalivaichenko allowed the CIA agents to work in the Security Service building?
AY: Yes, that’s true. He also handed personal files of his own employees over to the CIA agents to study. But their mission was interrupted by an armed coup. The Maidan do not appoint these people; rather, it’s the US that does it. It’s enough to look at the newly appointed officials: Parubiy, Gvozd, Nalyvaichenko are all people who followed somebody else’s orders, the orders of the US, not even Europe. They are directly linked to the American intelligence. They sought to delay the negotiations and prevent the incumbent president from striking a deal with Russia and Russia from helping to prop up the social and economic order in Ukraine. After that they were planning to depose the president and integrate Ukraine into Europe, using Russian money. Who was troubled by the victory of the EU and the pro-integration forces? Only the US. It was the only country concerned over a possible alliance of Europe, Russia and Ukraine. The Customs Union and the connection between Russia and Ukraine did not sit well with their plans, either.
They’d been doing it ever since Yushchenko was president, and we couldn’t get rid of them. Once we started to put pressure, they relocated to Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The most interesting part is that many regional governments spent budget money to pay for the so-called vyshkoli, i.e. training camps for militants to fight with various types of weapons.
All the orders were given either by the US embassy or by Jan Tombinski, a Polish representative who worked in the EU mission in Kiev. Poland played an invaluable role in the coup. It has always dreamt of restoring its former power and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Ever since the Maidan kicked off, our security service registered a dramatic increase in diplomatic correspondence coming in to various Western embassies in Kiev. There is one more mystery. Straight after this influx of correspondence we saw some foreign money at the Maidan and in Kiev exchange bureaus: the new, re-designed US dollar bank notes.
Q: So they were bringing in cash?
AY: Yes. Poroshenko, Firtash, Pinchuk – they all poured money into the Maidan. With all their assets in foreign banks, they found themselves trapped. So they had to follow orders from the West. All they were supposed to do was back the Maidan; otherwise they would have lost all their assets. They were thinking about their money rather than their own country. Unfortunately we couldn’t prevent the casualties, the people, mainly those who had come from the Western regions, were sent into the line of fire. The Maidan militants had left the barricades after the sniper fire started. But time will set the record straight.
The whole story has affected the Berkut guys, the Internal Troops, the Security Service, too. But ordinary Ukrainians have suffered as well. And I don’t think they should have sacrificed their lives for Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, Poroshenko and others to take their posts. Ukrainians have lots of patience. But one day they will run out of it and remove them from power. I hope that happens soon enough.