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Drugs, weapons supplied to Kiev’s Maidan protesters from abroad, former minister reveals

January 16, 2015, 23:45 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL
“First, appeals were heard to bring arms from homes. Second, operative information came that foreign weapons had started flowing to Maidan - short-barrelled, automatic and handguns,” Zakharchenko said
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© ITAR-TASS / Denis Vyshinsky

SEVASTOPOL, January 16. /TASS/. Weapons and drugs were trafficked to Kiev’s Independence Square, known as the Maidan across the world, in the autumn and winter of 2013/2014 when the protests rocked the country, Ukraine’s former Interior Minister Viktor Zakharchenko told reporters in Sevastopol on Friday.

“First, appeals were heard to bring arms from homes. Second, operative information came that foreign weapons had started flowing to Maidan - short-barrelled, automatic and handguns,” Zakharchenko said. “Third, large-scale seizures of police stations and warehouses in Western Ukraine began, triggering appeals from the stage [on Maidan] to open fire.”

Ukrainian law enforcers began to analyse the reports but failed to document the facts and institute cases.

“Arms supplies went through Moldova and the Black Sea,” he said. “We knew the individuals who were delivering them and handing out but we could not detain them as the handguns were not sold openly like cookies. On the Maidan the police actions were restrained and there were cases when officers were held captive there and tortured.”

The ex-minister said that amphetamine-class drugs flooded the Ukrainian capital then, with the channels originating in European countries as a rule, while traffickers were related to the healthcare sphere and private guard companies.

“Everyone who hurled Molotov cocktails at police officers realised that it was a punishable offence,” Zakharchenko said. “Those young people were given a ‘pill for courage,’ a super-potent substance, and a bottle with incendiary mixture. After hurling it, they would be told that 15-year-long jail terms were looming over them and that they were bound by blood now.”.

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