maidan
© Reuters
Scores of people were killed in violence that erupted during the Euromaidan protests in 2014
Amnesty International says the Ukrainian criminal justice system has "resisted and obstructed justice" when dealing with the human rights violations committed by police during the Euromaidan protests five years ago.

Colm O Cuanachain, senior director at the office of the London-based group's secretary-general, made the comment on February 19, which marked the fifth anniversary of the protest movement's worst day of violence.

"Five years is a long time to wait when it comes to justice, and for most victims who suffered at the hands of Ukrainian police, justice is still not even in sight," he said during a trip to Kyiv.


Comment: Colm, what about those who suffered at the hands of the Right Sector snipers? Is justice in sight for them?


In February 2014, Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych was pushed from power following months of massive protests known as the Euromaidan and fled to Russia.

More than 100 people were killed and 2,500 injured in clashes with security forces, some of them shot dead by snipers.


Comment: Being a U.S.-government-funded outlet, RFE/RL neglects to mention the fact that the snipers were members of the neofascist Right Sector extremist group.


The death toll included at least 13 police officers, according to Ukrainian authorities.

As of the end of 2018, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office had identified 441 suspects, most of them former law enforcement officers, according to Amnesty.


Comment: Yet the majority of murders were committed by Right Sector. Some rioters and unarmed protesters were shot by Berkut forces, but only after being charged at and in response to fire coming from the armed protesters. Right Sector initiated the violence and killed protesters and police with sniper fire.


The rights watchdog said that the cases of 288 individuals had been sent to court, 52 of them resulting in court decisions.

Out of 48 convictions, "only nine custodial sentences were handed down," it added, and not one of those jailed was a former police officer.

"Promises were made, strong words were said by the post-Yanukovych authorities, but time and facts speak volumes," Cuanachain said. "Until all those responsible, including those in command, are brought to account there can be no sense of justice."


Comment: There will never be full justice, because the Ukrainian government has an incentive never to prosecute the Right Sector thugs who were responsible.