“We are people too, it’s our job”
Interview with the wounded in clashes in Kiev siloviki
Photo: Peter Shelomovskij / “to Lenta.ru”
Ukrainian special forces ready to crush “Evromaydan” if such order is given, which feared another Tuesday morning, before the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada. Soldiers of Special Forces “Berkut” do not see the protesters, said “maydanutyh” hirelings, idlers and vagabonds, told “Lente.ru” wounded fighter special, which was able to talk to one of the hospitals in Kiev. Unlike commandos in the ranks of internal troops, exposed as a barrier between the “Berkut” and protesters observed fermentation. They are actively trying to persuade people to move to the side, and although it is up to fraternization is not reached, at least one soldiers of – source “Heathcliff”, also met in the hospital – just will not shoot to kill and ready to move to the opposition .
Protesters flooded the streets of Kiev, Ukrainian Interior Ministry soldiers from the Special Forces “Berkut” truly hate – too cruel to those battles with activists. To the soldiers of Interior Ministry troops, who exhibited in the living barrier between the “Berkut” and maydanovtsami last, on the contrary, are treated with greater understanding. Them actively, but unsuccessfully trying to persuade people to move to the side. The correspondent of “Heathcliff” spoke with two police officers wounded – “Berkut” and veveshnikom, and they both say that using force, following orders from superiors, but the attitude to events in Kiev they have differed.
Internal troops Semen ( name changed ) admitted to “Lente.ru” that if the confrontation between the government and the opposition will develop in force scenario, he is ready to go to the people, refusing to shoot people, because the crowd will be his friends and former colleagues . Fighter “Berkut” Roman, who also asked not to disclose his name, on the contrary, ready to kill protesters as confident: “normal” people on Independence – there are only drunk and homeless.
Nor Roman nor Simon did not sympathize with the opposition, including its leaders weaklings, but to President Viktor Yanukovych, they are treated differently. If the “Berkut” all ideological support the government, the Interior Troops soldiers dream to get away for a demobilization alive.
On the dispersal reflects and activist Michael Maidan Gavriliouk who gained fame after the release of the controversial movie depicting how over him, naked and beaten, bullied “Berkut”.
“There are times when [employees” Berkut “] threesome just kill a person”
Roman, soldier Special Forces “Berkut”, lives in Sumy, trauma – injury of the ankle of the left leg.
“Lenta.ru,” How you been injured?
Roman: January 22 morning we stood in the monolith [street Hrushevskoho], kept the defense shields for when started from their [the protesters] side attack came a stone hit my leg so that I could not walk. Order storm, someone beat [then] have been reported, we just stood there, not bothering anyone. As soon as I arrived, January 20, I burned [after being hit “Molotov cocktail”], but in time extinguished, firefighters rushed.
You generally consider tough action from your colleagues “Berkut” justified?
Is it okay when police lights ? Or shot a policeman ( later became known that the murder has nothing to do with the Maidan – approx. “Heathcliff” ), and two more took to him and held ( also no evidence for this – approx. “Heathcliff” ). This peaceful demonstrators? Here in 2004 [during the “orange revolution”] people came out with flags, and there were also boys monolith, but they came to chat with flowers, and not with “Molotov cocktails”. We are people, too, it’s just our job. All we must seek a peaceful way, your mind, and not by force.
That employees “Berkut” chased, beaten people, I do not support, but when their lives are in danger, I believe that it [normally].
One gets the impression that the staff of “Berkut” bitter attacks on the street Hrushevskoho therefore behave inappropriately and do not hold back.
Have you read that [Nationalist Party] “Freedom” offers to take a knife and cut staff to go “Berkut”, their mothers, children? Is this normal? I’m not afraid for myself, but for my family.
It is said that in the “Ukrainian House” found cartridges . It is clear in fact, that the cartridges are not the police left, we always pick up all along, and it was done on purpose. Most of the channels shows only one way – that “Berkut” so bad, beat a couple of people. And how they beaten?
But among employees “Berkut” no one died, and people died.
According to the law “On Police”, in such dangerous situations the police officer has the right to use firearms. We only used rubber bullets and traumatic weapon does not kill a person, even if shot at close range. They also fired from traumatic, but they already have weapons more impressive, with iron balls.
It is said that we use live ammunition, but no employees of military weapons. Maybe on the side shot, and fell into his. There is utter confusion, there is no particular problem, everything is clear.
Protesters claim that you to tear-gas grenades bind the nuts and bolts.
No, we throw grenades with gas, but with their hand grenades just charged bolts. Lay with me one guy who underfoot homemade grenade exploded, and his legs were completely severed. Taken and made a powerful firecracker and there screwed screws.And they themselves are complaining because suffer from their own grenades that fly [randomly] in all directions.
Why do you beat women and children on November 30 Independence student (after protests because of the refusal of President Viktor Yanukovych signed an association agreement with the European Union, had already damped flared up – approx. “Heathcliff” )?
And in 27 years, and in 47 years you can be a student. Children were beaten? But I am also someone’s child, children may be different. Why are there children on Independence earn money? I can say that those who oppose the “Berkut”, per night get three dollars.
And this information about proplachennyh activists you get from the Internet or from the commanders?
No, we do read the internet. Boss tells us nothing, because he knows nothing. We are working on orders, we are told – we do. Do not say – we will not do anything.
There are criminal orders. You are ready to perform?
Criminal – of course not.
Shoot to kill people in, for example?
Looking into someone. And if you have five people were burned alive, I have the right to use weapons? And if I’m hurt, and I know that if I do not shoot, kill me? We also have a Man beaten with an awl to poke in the leg wound seven centimeters long. Well, that was saved by a bulletproof vest, which in the liver and kidneys were holes.
I am more than sure that almost all of the protesters do not work. My father and mother’s work and can not go here. Why [they] do not go and work for the money to beat policemen? Here they [the protesters] are eager to Europe and say you saw in Europe disperse protesters with stones and “Molotov cocktails”? There’s a policeman with protesters no contact, if there is a finger touch, the police can shoot anyone.
Press officer of the Kiev police present at the interview, adding that according to the instructions police may shoot if suitable to build closer than five meters. “But they were not issued weapons, that did not happen,” – he adds.
You actively throws in response stones and Molotov cocktails, you allowed or is it your initiative?
Personally, I had no time to throw. But let’s say flew “Molotov cocktail” at the feet and crashed. And that, to stand and wait until the bottle burst? Wait until my friend and pyhnem? Better hand or foot tilt. Just a camera catches a policeman when he throws a cocktail in the side, that’s all.
Everyone says that work on your part snipers.
The “Golden Eagle” is snipers, but they per person out of ten seconds. One minute you can kill six people. They say that the sniper is all night – and during this time know how much could be killed? Sniper rounds missing, only hunting bullet caliber 12 millimeters.
You have also the same gun 12 caliber.
We gun designed for maximum flight of bullets 50-60 meters, and if you insert a hunting cartridge, the trunk will swell and burst. It is intended only for the rubber bullets, the same special holes visible.
Many protesters knocked your eyes bullets.
Maybe it knocked slingshot. They run helter-skelter, they have failed. One ran forward and the other behind him with a slingshot is the first turns and runs back – and then he arrives stone. And then they all want? Capture the regional administration. But you hear now that they said that in Europe they want? No. Our president gave them a chance to go to the government, and why they did not go? The three leaders, who gathered Maidan already own can not do anything. I think it will soon begin looting shops.
Peaceful demonstrators seized hotel where foreign journalists live ( in fact the party “Freedom” took located near the Independence Square hotel “Ukraine” under its protection – approx. “Heathcliff” ). You know why? Here is the “Channel 5” ( owned by billionaire and oppositionist Petro Poroshenko – approx. “Heathcliff” ) is very disappointing to see, there is talk about us, that if I believed him, I would have resigned. Other channels show the truth.
Is it true that you aiming to shoot at journalists?
No, I have not seen. That journalist “5 channel” complained that he broke the camera, but even your glasses are not broken, if they get caught! They’re just a pain in the hole camera made and shoved the ball there.
My colleague was severely beaten “Berkut”. Why?
Journalists are different. Someone in a bright vest with the word “press” run. And there are journalists in glasses, mask and helmet. How do I know who it is. Maybe it was revolutionary to me under the bus wants to throw a grenade.
Employees of the press service of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine adds that sometimes on the street are going to attack Hrushevskoho three: front man with the camera, and behind him – two with “Molotov cocktails”. “And your reporter was beaten because he went to the machines that followed the” Berkut “, and everyone who was in the car, of course, came under the hand” – describes what happened policeman.
Why beat people lying down? Is not this abuse of power?
Many do not want to go on the bus and fall to the ground. How to raise a man? Whip or pull his legs. When we pull up, it gets more scratches. Or have to use force, so he got up and went. In the dispersal of student we Maidana three or four times told them to leave. Animal probably understand faster. Say that we beat the students, but I’m seen as “Berkut” shoved under a burning log and began to raise his visor. I saw that this employee does not have [more] skin on the face.
That is, excessive police violence does not apply?
I think not. There are certain moments when [employees “Berkut”] threesome just kill a person. But you also understand, we also constantly beaten, fired, insulted, spat upon. The man in the ranks and falls off, and they smile. I do not wish anyone harm, but want their own children went to serve in the army, and with them it happened. I want to see how they would react and whom they would support. It is clear that son.
In the case of an order to clean up the Maidan how fast can you do it? Or you push back?
For 20, a maximum of 40 minutes will be clean Kiev if they give orders. Nothing they can not do, they do not have discipline, strategy. They are like cattle just – throw and shout. At first, until we reach the barricade and climbed over them, suffer a lot of militia, but when climbing – Kiev will be clean.
Tires that burn protesters, strongly interfere with you?
Yes, nothing can be seen and it is impossible to breathe, do not save the mask.Generally, look what turned Kiev. If you are patriots, then at least be cleaned flags.When the police just took the flag from the machine, then shouted that he was a fascist. And who is there a fascist? Everyone knows that [the protesters] came from the west of Ukraine. Monument to Lenin had stopped here. Why in the western regions of the Nazis greeted with bread and salt – what are they patriots? A true patriot for his country should give life, and what a patriot as his country and destroys the building captures?
Well, if we leave, they take over the cabinet, what will they do next? There will be litter, sleeping and lounging all over the country. I went to the Maidan in plainclothes out of curiosity, I saw there just drunk and piles of garbage. Well, that winter, and if it was summer, there would be a plague, probably begun. I believe that there are no normal people. Basically there bums, and normal peaceful people come there for half an hour, to be photographed.
You generally support President Yanukovych?
Yes, of course, I support the government, I’m working on it. But if it had not worked, I would have these [opposition] is not supported. [Vitali] Klitschko I respected as a boxer, but a true athlete must remain in the business and not to meddle in politics.How many years he took a ton in the head. Look at the way he talks.
Your colleagues agree with you? Do you, as I understand it, the unity. I saw the “Berkut” protesters chanted “Maydanutye – on the bench!”
We understand that it is also the people, but a little respect for them. Call them decent people hard. We togetherness, yes. It’s not even a friendship – I venture for him, and he for me. Say “Berkut” bad, but why not say “Berkut” good when we, for example, three former prisoners detained, raped the girl ( the story is not related to the Maidan – approx. “Heathcliff” )? Mom then resorted almost kissed our feet. And even if we hit someone with a stick, you will not die from this!
Are not you afraid of what you will do if the revolution is going to happen?
If they see something illegal, then let the plant. We are not touched, because if the “Berkut” will not be, then the new government will throw off the same crowd. She is uncontrollable. “Berkut” [potential new power] afraid to disperse. I hope that everything will be peaceful and normal.
Are you unhappy with the fact that there is still no order to disperse the Maidan?
Kiev – a beautiful city, but now I personally would not want to walk on it. Yes, I want to clean up this and all was in order.
“I give three-five percent of our shoot that no one will”
Simon, BB soldier and lives in Odessa, injury – concussion and poisoning by combustion products.
“Lenta.ru,” What happened to you?
Simon: I’m in Kiev in the cordon from the very beginning [protests]. Bankovoj on December 1 ( when several hundred protesters tried to break through to the building of the presidential administration – approx. “Heathcliff” ) was at the forefront, on January 19 in the morning ( the day started hard collision outside Hrushevskoho – approx. ‘Tapes. py “ ) brought us to the Verkhovna Rada, then lowered closer to the stadium “Dynamo” and put in the cordon. Our task was to keep people out to the Verkhovna Rada. At four o’clock [radical] started throwing vozgoratelnymi mixtures. Comrades near burned himself burned in principle. Threw stones on the head.
Concussion and an average degree of carbon monoxide poisoning. I do not know what they were thrown, but two days ago with facial exfoliates the skin and dandruff slazil large chunks.
And this is not your gas?
No, definitely not ours, because I was still knocked out and I lost consciousness.Comrades said that the helmet was breached, and the face was completely wet whether from acetone or from gasoline. At half past two nights I was taken to the “fast”, I’m about a half day was unconscious.
How do you feel about the fact that stand as a living barrier between the “Berkut” and protesters?
We have orders, I serve, I have to carry it, or you may plant. Say “Berkut” is all your fault, and we suffer, conscripts. Many comrades are asking why we blame?
Here I stand in front and me pushing buses. Here comes the team to wear gas masks, we are in five ranks, heard back, and the front – no. And before you throw smoke bombs, gas and vozgoratelnye mixture.
That is, even without a team can not be put on a gas mask?
No team can not do anything. Our task – to be in place and protect the cordon. It was impossible that people walked past us to the Verkhovna Rada. At any cost.
When they began to throw stones, the crowd ran to us, about ten people and just start beating us. Vitali Klitschko came, but even he could not stop them, it is also something thrown. Why do they beat us, I could not understand, we no danger without a team is not present.
You waiting for orders to attack?
We all stood in a flak jacket with a rubber truncheon and shield. – We are a fence, and the response should have been to take “Bars”, “Jaguar”, “Berkut” ( special forces of Ukraine “Bars” and “Jaguar” also perform tasks to suppress riots, but less known – approx. ‘Tapes. ru “ ). Came to us from the prosecutor, questioned us, I recognized a lot of people, which then stood in front of me and pulled the shields. Identified who saw, please remember if, why not. And so, without a team, we do not do anything wrong.
You did not hurt that hate “Berkut”, and gets you?
It’s a shame, of course. We generally serve in the PPP, and officially we should not be there, there must be “Bars” and “Jaguar”. Just put us there because we in Kiev.
Protesters offer you over to their side. They say that you swore not to the president, and the Ukrainian people. How do you feel about that?
Of course, I gave an oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people, and now, in principle, it is not clear who and what I was giving. This is the most offensive, but on the order will not go away. In the oath was not specified president or my commanders, there was a nation. If the boss will give the team, I’m going [to disperse]. But if you still will not last long, then I just leave everything and go to the people. I just can not stand, and so I put up two months. I’m 20 years old, I want a family, children, and now I can not get it all done. I left three months rose, I have a job, the parents, the girl who loves me.
Is there a point of no return for you? When people died, many thought that you can falter.
I’ve thought it all over. I do not want people to die. We are all the same people. Let them have already changed the president and all command. But the question is, if you put someone who does not know what it all will not be any worse? If these [opposition] MPs can not even his [radical nationalists] to stop, what they will do with power?
Personally, I refuse, I will not shoot. Give three-five percent of our shoot that no one will, because there are our friends and comrades.
When you’re standing with a shield in the cordon, you see their comrades who come to the Maidan. If the team will be nominated and go against the people, then how am I going to hit your friend? That can not be, because I studied with him. We all here have seen comrades, sisters cousins, siblings. Some even said they would not go to the Maidan, in outfits specially interceded, so as not to go, because they knew that their parents on the Maidan. Not so scary to go out and stand in line, and the worst thing – to go against their comrades, because the team [attack] could come any day.
That is, you realize that the people on Maidan stands and not provocateurs?
I understand it perfectly, there are 20-30 people provocateurs, and the rest – simple people, just like us. They see that a bunch of sheep do it [go on the attack on the police], why not stand up and do not see how it all happens. We are blamed for everything, but let them count how many of my friends are in the hospital. One had 2 days to muster, and he broke his leg and knocked his jaw, and his parents “ambulance” brought. Fellow next to me with his own body armor began to hit in the face. For what? He is 18 years old, he was told to stand, and he almost did not understand why.
And you ask the commanders?
Yes, but we will answer the commander? Officers say that we are just like you, and we are also coming from the top teams. We stood between January 19 and is talking about when it will end. But no one knew, and we all said, “Wait, wait, everything will be fine”, but does not normally happen. Nobody says anything and does not know.
Parents call me in the morning, and I say that all is well. To be honest, I want to quickly come home. My mother, grandmother, father, they are waiting for me. If you have a team, I perform it, but I do not want to suffer, because I have a goal: not to suffer for the sake of the family. If it were possible, I would have gone home, I had not been on the Maidan, I’m not interested.
How do you feel about the current government, the opposition?
I have almost all suits. That people give, then give the best of [regime change] will not.What they want? Well, they will be removed Yanukovych, but someone put it? There will always be worse, and there is someone better?
Mother says, and begins in Odessa Maidan. Okay here – the government want to remove, but what does it do in other cities? City Hall will be removed from someone that does it make?
My opinion is. How much it may lasts Yanukovych care what will happen to us. If he did not do anything for the soldiers, in the future – even more so. He’s just afraid. I’m waiting for an adequate command: either leave, or to disperse, not to beat, but simply disperse. Or even really let himself go away. Why torture people – me, my parents, you? I understand them too well, they are a month, get sick, people die. I feel sorry for them as well as my friends. I’m not that insensitive. Let already given adequate command. I never want any harm.
And you with the “Berkut” communicate? They, in my opinion, a different attitude to the protesters.
An employee of “Berkut” no service, and work. If he did not know how to do, and only hurt the person and shoot it where to go. He stays here and works.
Fireworks fly when it hurts?
When arrives to you, it’s unpleasant. Afraid to lose a comrade. If you think that we are not afraid, then I say we are very scared. I am the same person as they were, and I’m afraid. If I go to the district dress PPP, I’m scared too, because no one likes the police.When you throw a log and say, “Die, bitch,” that my comrades, eighteen-year, shocked.
They felt when standing on Bankova street, you beat radical protesters, and you hold the line, not responding?
The worst thing was when we went on a bulldozer. Bankova was wounded 200 people, some were in intensive care, but it’s hidden. Many parents are then taken away to fight in private clinics to treat. In the hospital came generals, our parents are, ask how it happened, why our children are suffering, and they can not tell their parents.
“Guys still have left the fruit and wiped them with the earth in peacetime”
Michael Gavriliouk activist “Evromaydana” lives in Chernivtsi region; fighters “Berkut” detained him on the street Hrushevskoho beaten, stripped to the goal and mocked , including jumping on his head
“Lenta.ru,” How is your status now?
My condition is excellent, the best that can be. Because I’m among the Cossacks (Gavriliouk after his release from the police department on the same day and returned to the maidan lives in one of the barricades – approx. “Heathcliff” ), which comes from the radiance and good spirit. He moved in with me and slowly lifts my spirit and my health.
Tell us what happened to you.
I was captured on the street Hrushevskoho. When I pulled back, then lifted the wounded on the road, the last one was seriously wounded because his stunned bomb a couple of minutes he lost consciousness. I dragged him through the snow, then he woke up, and I showed him the way to escape. I have something slowly recede, and the wounded, turned quickly run ( laughs ). Behind me were “titushki” as I call them, jerboa, it freaks. They overwhelmed me. Ran “Berkut” and began their dirty work. They know their job well, they began to knead, stomp your feet right on the spot – your garbage junk. I was then lifted and dragged him to his lair, accompanying it blows.
There they beat me on, then some fool occurred to me to rip the clothes. Then they began to pluck me clothes, beaten, jumped on my head in the snow. This was not enough for them, they were photographed, until someone stood foot on my head.Then they came up to cut me forelock, raised me embrionchika, from the ground, tore my hands and started one knife to cut the forelock.
Well, well not a member.
Still they cut cock! Nice, thank God, because like me, the Cossacks should multiply, and there should be lots and lots. Member – is the main joy in the man! ( laughs ) In-by.
Forelock cut off, they are still a little stoned and sent me to the police van. There gave me this same as I [detainee], but dressed his fufaechku and cotton pants. I was sent from the site to the hospital because of me was a little confusing because of the blow.In the House, I lay in the bath, three or four an hour nap, opened his eyes, which I had previously swum, saw the door, where to go, and taking someone’s unwanted ankle boots and jacket, decided to go to Maidan.
Was not thought to go home?
A home to me that someone put the victory on the pocket? Or I’ll sit on something and I will? Not fit the case. Here are my brothers are the Cossacks, and I shall be at home to wallow? Not suitable as a Cossack. Go home I thought never even visited.
How do you rate the “Berkut”?
I think they are abnormal and inadequate. When we “Berkut” taken captive, we have not stripped them, and soldered, fed and sent back ( this is an exaggeration, because even with “titushkami”, which sometimes caught and delivered to the maidan, turning much worse, including strongly beat – ca. “Heathcliff” ). We do so with the prisoners, and since they are – it will not work.
Will now be harder to deal with them?
It will not work. They should not in itself be so. One thing I can say, come the hour of judgment, and they are sinners, will answer for their acts.
You generally feel it right – throwing stones at the police?
A properly police shoot at civilians, throw their grenades? Already made seven dead at the moment! There are three-four disabled people, three thousand wounded! It’s okay from their side? ( angry and starts screaming ) What are you asking me these questions?You do not understand what? Guys who perished, they have not left the fruit and wiped them with the earth in peacetime! Is this normal? Are they not throw stones?
It is a mutual process.
What is a mutual process? This garbage “titushki” engaged in theirs, they hire them, that they provoked “Berkut” go and beat the normal ordinary citizens, it is one hundred percent ( in fact responsible for the clashes with the police took the radical nationalists of the “right sector,” one of associations that make up the backbone of the Maidan – approx. “Heathcliff” ). I know who it throws stones. This “titushki”! They are paid the money, and they all do.
How do you see a way out of this situation?
Victory will be ours! President voluntarily leave his post, and everyone else with him.At heart Yanukovych already thinking where he should move.
You will be able to resist the police, if it starts to sweep?
Do you know how we got here? Flick fingers, and thousands come running here for a couple of minutes. This is not Russia and Belarus, the people here will woo-oo-oo.They have already tried once, but then we have answered them peacefully.
This time will not respond peacefully?
( slyly ) And this you will see what will be.
Interviewed by Ilya Azar (Kiev)
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