A Sputnik correspondent has met with the purported snipers, all of them from Georgia. They insist that they were taking orders from Maidan leaders. Moreover, they had direct orders to fire at police officers AND protesters in order to enrage the crowd and provoke a political crisis.
the "five-day war" of August 2008, but later became a personal enemy of Mikheil Saakashvili, who tried to blame the military for his fiasco.
Tsitelashvili's house was raided by police who arrested the general and seriously injured his little son. They tried to force him to admit to having played a role in an alleged "plot by generals", which purportedly resulted in Georgia's defeat in the 2008 war. The general did not testify and has since been a sworn enemy of Saakashvili.
I knew already in 2014 about people from Georgia who were present on Maidan square with specific orders to shoot. Some of them served under my command in the Georgian army. Some are still in Ukraine, fighting, others returned to Georgia. They took their time to speak out because they were afraid to. They are still afraid because they can simply be eliminated as unwanted witnesses!
General Tristan Tsitelashvili
"People Called Us Sonderkommando"
Koba Nergadze is one of the people General Tsitelashvili had in mind.
A career officer in the Georgian army, in 2003-2004 he took part in a number of special operations in Ergeneti District, sandwiched between Georgia and South Ossetia.
"We were fighting smugglers. The region was divided into zones controlled by Georgian and Ossetian businessmen. Conflicts occasionally flared up, including real firefights with the Ossetian military. Our brigade suffered 11 or 12 people killed, I can't say for sure. Overall, the Georgian army lost 45 people," Nergadze said.
He left the ranks of the army in 2006 as Senior Lieutenant and, shortly after, with some help from Mamuka Mamulashvili, joined the Defense Ministry's Security Service. Mamulashvili currently serves as the commander of the so-called "Georgian Legion" fighting in eastern Ukraine on Kiev's side.
"I first met him while in the army, at the birthday party of my friend Bezho," Koba added. "Officially, we also dealt with the protection of the rallies held in Tbilisi, to make sure that there would be no clashes between supporters and opponents of Saakashvili. In fact, we were tasked with suppressing opposition rallies and keeping an eye on the opposition," he admitted.
If necessary, by order of commanders, our service officers beat up opposition leaders. As a rule, we did this while wearing masks. People called us 'Sonderkommando.' Service members were usually tight-lipped about where they worked and what they did.The agents were divided into "tens." Nergadze was one of the foremen. Other foremen he knew are Georgy Saralidze, Merab Kikabidze and David Makiashvili. In his interview with Sputnik, Koba mentioned some of the "tariffs." He said that they were paid $1,000 for beating up an opposition MP.
In December 2013, Mamulashvili invited the "foremen" to a meeting and ordered them "to immediately go to Ukraine to help the protesters." Nergadze's group was allocated $10,000 with an additional $50,000 promised them upon their return.
They used other people's passports to reach their destination. Nergadze had a passport issued in the name of Georgy Karusanidze (born in 1977).
In Kiev, the group was accommodated on Ushinsky Street and each day, as if to work, they went to Maidan.
"We were told to ensure order so that there were no drunks, to maintain discipline and identify rabble-rousers sent in by the authorities," the officer recounted.
Alexander Revazishvili is another former Georgian military man, who arrived in Kiev in the midst of unrest. After serving in the Georgian army, he was an active member of "Free Zone" - an organization of Saakashvili's supporters. In his own words, he "infiltrated the oppositionists' ranks, inciting fights and engaging in other provocations." The organization was led by Koba Khabazi, who introduced Revazishvili to Mamulashvili. He took a great deal of interest in the ex-officer's military specialization as a sniper.
In mid-February, Revazishvili, Khabazi and four other representatives of the Free Zone arrived in Kiev on a UIA flight. They were accommodated at Vozduhoflotskaya Street before being moved to the city conservatory, which was already controlled by the opposition.
The following day Mamulashvili brought us to Maidan and placed us in a tent set up on the square. Khabazi told us that our task was to provoke the protesters to attack. Our group, along with the protesters, attacked Berkut with stones and Molotov cocktails. Some people were bringing rocks; some were lining up Molotov cocktails, while others assaulted Berkut and the police.
"Sergei Pashinsky Was Bringing the Arms"
'We need to help our fraternal people, and soon we will have an assignment.'
He gave no further clarification. By that time I had already seen hunting rifles and pistols, carried by the protesters," "Nergadze said. Also taking part in the meeting was a certain Christopher Brian, who was presented as a former American soldier.
In the evening of February 19, Sergey Pashinsky and several unfamiliar guys with big bags returned to the hotel. They took out SCS carbines, 7.62mm Kalashnikov assault rifles, an SVD rifle and a foreign-made carbine. Pashinsky explained to us that the weapons would be needed "for self-defense," but when I asked him from whom we were going to defend ourselves, he did not answer and left the room.
According to Revazishvili, that same day the weapons were brought to the conservatory: "Mamulashvili, Saralidze, nicknamed Kid, and about ten others, have come, I do not know the rest. Mamulashvili inquired about our mood. They laughed. Someone asked Mamulashvili in Georgian: "Where's Misha?" He answered: "With Porokh." Then they left. Sometime later, Pashinsky and several other men brought in a bag with weapons, mostly SCS carbines.Pashinsky himself was holding a Kalashnikov rifle with an open butt.
Among those present was Vladimir Parasyuk, the leader of one of the Maidan "hundreds," who subsequently commanded the 4th Company of the Dnepr Battalion and later became a People's Deputy of Ukraine.
Pashinsky asked me to help choose shooting positions. He said that Berkut [police commandos] could storm the Conservatory during the night and break up the protesters. At night, about 4 or 5 am, I heard gunshots. I thought they were coming from the October Palace. Pashinsky jumped up, grabbed the walkie-talkie, and started yelling to cease fire, that it was not the right time. The shooting immediately stopped. At about 7.30 am (maybe later) Pashinsky ordered everyone to get ready and open fire, taking two or three shots and immediately change position. The shooting continued for about 10-15 minutes. After that, we were ordered to drop weapons and leave the building.
"I realized that this might end badly, that I was in a real fix, that people could tear me up right here if they only knew the truth. I went out to take a walk on Maidan. Then I decided that it was time to fly out. I took a taxi to the airport," Revazishvili concluded.
Early in the morning on February 20, at about 8, I heard the sound of gunshots coming from the conservatory; 3 or 4 minutes later, Mamulashvili's group opened fire from windows on the third floor of Hotel Ukraina. They were shooting in pairs. After each shot, they moved to another room and fired again. When it was all over, they told us to get out. That same day Bezho and I flew to Tbilisi.
Koba Nergadze and Alexander Revazishvili are ready to confirm their words in a Ukrainian court. Sputnik has obtained copies of an official testimony that they gave to lawyers Alexander Goroshinsky and Stefan Reshko, who represent the interests of former members of the Berkut police commando unit. Sputnik also has copies of air tickets confirming the arrival of Nergadze and Revazishvili to Kiev during the Maidan events.
What Strikes Fear Into Ukraine: Sputnik Publishes Evidence by Georgian Snipers
Adding a new twist to the story about the 2014 Maidan shootings, a Sputnik correspondent has met with the purported snipers. The agency has obtained the records of interrogation of Koba Nergadze and Aleksandre Revazishvili. Both Georgian nationals, they are ready to testify in a Ukrainian court.
In a strange coincidence, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was deported from Ukraine immediately after Sputnik announced it was going to publish the results of its investigation - and just a day after Saakashvili was to testify in court in the case of the snipers.
The questioning of Nergadze and Revazishvili by lawyers Alexander Goroshinsky and Stefan Reshko was conducted in accordance with the Constitution, the Criminal Code and the Advocacy Law of the Ukrainian Republic.
Both lawyers currently represent the interests of former members of the Berkut police commando unit at the Svyatoshinsky District Court in Kiev.
Nergadze and Revazishvili officially pledged to provide "truthful evidence (clarifications) to the lawyer, and later in a court of law."
The alleged snipers offer a detailed account of themselves and their life in Georgia. Both are onetime staunch supporters of Saakashvili. Nergazde served as an agent with the so called "Sonderkommando", while Revazishvili was a member of the "Free Zone" organization. They used to intimidate and beat up opposition members and organize provocations. Nergadze spent some time in Greece, Germany and Lithuania where he was trained, among other things, to "work with protesters, namely obtain information, organize people and provoke conflict situations."
They arrived in Ukraine on orders from Mamuka Mamulashvili, then a military adviser to Saakashvili and now the commander of the "Georgian Legion" which is fighting on Kiev's side in Donbass.
As transpires from the evidence given by the snipers, they discussed the planned shooting spree on Maidan with Andrei Parubiy, who is now Speaker of the Verhovnaya Rada, and with Sergei Pashinsky, the current head of the Ukrainian parliament's defense and security committee.
The snipers were taking instructions from Christopher Brian, a former US Army officer. Pashinsky, accompanied by several unidentified men, personally brought weapons to the Kiev Conservatory and Hotel Ukraina. On February 20, 2014 - the day of the mass shooting on Maidan - Pashinsky was seen firing away an assault rifle, while "Maidan commander" Vladimir Parasyuk - who later served with the Dnepr battalion and is now a Verhovna Rada deputy - was shooting with a Saiga carbine.
For their "tour of duty" on Maidan, Negradze and his group were paid $10,000 with a promise of another $50,000 upon their return home.
Nergadze and Revazishvili are presently hiding in Armenia fearing for their lives. Their decision to go to court and meet with journalists is an attempt to attract public attention to their case and avoid revenge by their former "colleagues."
Their fears are not groundless. Nergadze and Revazishvili told Sputnik many of those who took part in the Maidan shooting have down line died under strange circumstances.
Record of Interrogation (Questioning) of Aleksandre Revazishvili
Record of Interrogation (Questioning) of Koba Nergadz
Aleksandre Revazishvili's Statement to the Judicial Authorities of Ukraine
Koba Nergadze's Statement to the Judicial Authorities of Ukraine
Plane Tickets Confirming Koba Nergadze and Aleksandre Revazishvili's Arrival in Kiev During Maidan Unrest