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Ukrainian court sentences ex-police officers over 2014 Maidan shootings

Ukrainian court sentences ex-police officers over 2014 Maidan shootings
A woman pays her respects near the monument to the so-called Heavenly Hundred, people killed in mass protests that toppled President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014, in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 20, 2022. 
PHOTO: Reuters file

KYIV — A Ukrainian court on Wednesday (Oct 18) handed a former police officer a life sentence and gave two others 15-year prison terms over the deaths of dozens of people shot dead in 2014 during protests that toppled a pro-Russian president, authorities said.

All three former officers were sentenced in absentia by Kyiv's Sviatoshyn District Court because they were handed over to Russia in 2019 in a prisoner exchange.

Two other ex-officers were present in court. One was sentenced to time served and the other was acquitted, the court said.

The case focused on the killing of 48 protesters on Feb 20, the final and bloodiest day of clashes with security forces at protests in central Kyiv that brought down President Viktor Yanukovych in what became known as the Maidan Revolution.

Yanukovych fled to Russia. In 2019, a Ukrainian court convicted him in absentia of treason and abetting Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. He denied wrongdoing.

Since the revolution, Ukraine has charted a pro-Western course and embarked on reforms as it seeks European Union membership, despite Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

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